TE21 Serbian Moments

Ana Ristović

Directions for Use

Grain of Salt (ballad of adultery)

The Body

Twenty years ago, I imagined passersby on the street naked stripping their clothes like a breeze and chuckled at them walking unaware of what I saw: plenty of sparkling bodies in their imperfections and glory. Today, as I walk the streets, I no longer see naked bodies, but their internal organs: the trembling heart, shrunk to a baby’s fist, of the man staring at small ads for an apartment; bowels, like sailor ropes in a heavy bag, of the one tired on a bench; a woman’s bones shuffling across the street like fragile musical instruments; veins of the young saleswoman at the empty store with overpriced clothes; lightning in the spring sky; lungs; kidneys; liver; spleen; blood and lymph; an inner ear no longer ringing; the womb’s walls shadowed by the slumber of unborn babies;

On a spring afternoon you rush from your apartment to seek out a lover.

Instead of heading to a coffee shop, enter a department store to pick up olives, Camembert cheese, shampoo and a packet of washers for a leaky faucet.

All morning your skirt a cresset heralding others’ saints and a whirlwind of holidays.

All afternoon and evening your skirt, a lid for boiling water, toward distilling a grain of salt.

So much water for a single grain. So many washers for just a few drops.




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