DREAM OF THE CORN
Dedicated to children victims of war
I am running through a field of the corn; through the early evening, while the sun turns into the moon. The sky is low and oval, pressing down on the ground. The light emanates from the leaves, transparent and watery. Green becomes yellow. I notice that I am small, the corn is so much taller than me.
The field is endless.
Suddenly I collide with the traces of the passing of the one who is looking for me. I stay motionless. For a moment, I can only hear my own breathing. If I were to lean my ear to the ground I would hear the roar of his footsteps. The corn is broken here in hatred, trampled on. He runs blind, leaving behind him a corridor laden with emptiness. The speed with which he moves is many times greater than mine; the traces of his passing reveal the nature of the demon. I need more and more air. While I could, I breathed through my nose. Now I’m breathing through my mouth, I breath in deeply and breath out every ten steps. Soon it will be every five steps, then two …
It is important to control the rhythm of my breathing.
Running gives me courage. And the way the corn moves in front of me gives me courage. I will backtrack a little to cover my trails. When night falls, I will crawl into the corn to gather my strenght for the morning, for running. I will lock my fear into a room with no windows. I will let hope burn in the darkness, to lighten my dream.
He too will be still at night, but he will not sleep. His rage will keep him awake, blunt his senses. In the morning the sharp air will mist his eyesight. And while the lightness darkens I feel the blood boiling in the veins of my pursuer like a distant whisper in the cornfields. In front of my eyes floats the threat of total destruction which follows his passing, I do not need to see his face to know that the unknown who is pursuing me is the same man whose shadow passed by the walls one night without stars, one night in which I ended up alone.
I will run in the morning like never before in my life. The black house is far behind me already, it should be. Now I have something I have never had before, the freedom of choice. I can turn to the east, or to the south, or continue going west. As long as I run my destiny is in my hands. I just have to carry on.
Translated from Croatian by Damir Šodan