DREAM OF THE CORN

by Tomica Bajsić


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

SAN O KUKURUZU

djeci žrtvama rata

 

 

Trčim kroz polje kukuruza, kroz predvečerje, dok sunce postaje mjesec. Nebo je nisko i ovalno, stisnuto uz tlo. Svjetlost zrači iz listova kukuruza, prozirnih i vodenih. Zeleno postaje žuto. Primjećujem da sam malen, kukuruz je toliko viši od mene.

Polje je beskrajno.

 

Odjednom, sudaram se s tragovima prolaska onog koji me traži. Zastajem. Za trenutak, ne čujem ništa osim svog disanja. Možda, kada bih prislonio uho uz tlo, čuo bih tutanj njegovih koraka. Stabljike kukuruza ovdje su slomljene u mržnji, zgažene. On trči naslijepo, za njim ostaje hodnik težak od praznine. Brzina kojom se kreće višestruko je veća od moje. Tragovi njegova prolaska odaju narav demona.

Potrebno mi je sve više zraka. Dok sam to mogao, disao sam na nos. Sada dišem na usta, duboko udahnem i izdahnem svakih deset koraka. Još malo pa će to biti svakih pet koraka, pa dva …

 

Bitno je kontrolirati ritam disanja.

 

Trčanje mi daje hrabrost. I način na koji se kukuruz povija poda mnom daje mi hrabrost. Vratit ću se malo unatrag i krenuti drugim putem, da zavaram trag. Kada padne noć, zavući ću se pod kukuruz da bih prikupio snagu za jutro, za trčanje. Zaključat ću svoj strah u sobu bez prozora. Pustit ću nadu da gori u mraku, da mi osvijetli san. I on će mirovati noću, ali neće spavati. Bijes će ga držati budnim, otupjeti mu čula. Ujutro, oštar zrak zamutiti će mu vid. I dok svjetlost tamni osjećam krv kako kipi u žilama mog progonitelja kao daleki šapat u polju kukuruza. Pred očima mi lebdi prijetnja potpunog uništenja koje je obilježilo njegov prolazak, nije mi potrebno vidjeti mu lice da bih znao da je nepoznati koji me progoni onaj isti čovjek čija je sjena prošla kroz zidove u jednoj noći bez zvijezda, u noći u kojoj sam ostao sam. Trčat ću ujutro kao nikada u životu. Crna kuća je već daleko iza mene, trebala bi biti. Imam sada ono što nisam nikada imao, slobodu izbora. Mogu iznenada okrenuti na istok, ili na jug, ili nastaviti na zapad. Sve dok trčim moja sudbina je u mojim rukama. Samo ne smijem stati.