TE21 Serbian Moments

Marija Kneževic

Breathing Technique


The River’s Name (excerpt from a long poem)

They unloaded us onto this land And commanded: You’re free!

to Wisława

We paused at the word unload . Although sooner or later we would, As they say in the world of baggage, Have been rerouted farther. For only a heretic preaches closeness. Just as a root serves. For the practice of uprooting.


Always dissimilar the river by her nature resembles no other.

She is herself her own name, although she understands a lot, our reasons for geography too: the anguish of cartography, all those perfect lines,

Since then everything’s wonderful on our plot! Everyone has a personal niche, an ID number.

the passion of enacting borders, walls already cracked the next day, wires, barrels, pennants, stones resettled from some other landscape, and evergreen in array and the watchman who’s fallen asleep — that whole ritual of appropriation.

And what’s most important, the possibility Of opening and closing as they wish, Beginning with windows, screens, formerly Intimate locks now public, right up to the one That the rival tribe has named the soul.



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