Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Monika Herceg

tiny deaths

unbearable sultriness urges loud breaths
sleeping in the same room
angst heavier than the air
fills out the space like carbon dioxide
and we suffocate in the nightmare

in father's dream emptiness proliferates
like potato bugs
until they’vecompletely destroyed the crops
at times he coughs
like a cat trying to cough up
a ball of fur
brother grinds his teeth
mother is motionless
her lips pressed
alike our lady’s in the painting she prays to
now and then i lean over her face
to check if she’s breathing

i listen and
as we are outgrowing our already tight shoes
as our hair is growing darker
and our cartilage erodes as we run
the atmosphere outside combusts
and the child bodies in us burn
like birthday candles
so rapid that in the morning we
do not remember

sitne smrti

sitne smrti

glasno dišemo zbog nesnosne sparine
spavajući u istoj sobi
tjeskoba je teža od zraka
ispuni prostor poput ugljičnog dioksida
pa se pogušimo u košmaru

u očevom se snu koti praznina
kao zlatice na krumpiru
dok u potpunosti ne unište nasade
svako malo nakašlje se
poput mačka koji izbacuje
klupko dlaka
brat škrguće zubima
majka je nepomična
stisnutih usnica
nalik na sliku gospe kojoj se moli
nekad se nagnem nad njeno lice
da provjerim diše li

osluškujem i
kako prerastamo već tijesne cipele
kako nam tamni kosa
i troši se hrskavica dok trčimo
vani izgara atmosfera
a u nama gore dječja tijela
kao rođendanske svjećice
dovoljno brzo da se ujutro
ne sjećamo
Close

tiny deaths

unbearable sultriness urges loud breaths
sleeping in the same room
angst heavier than the air
fills out the space like carbon dioxide
and we suffocate in the nightmare

in father's dream emptiness proliferates
like potato bugs
until they’vecompletely destroyed the crops
at times he coughs
like a cat trying to cough up
a ball of fur
brother grinds his teeth
mother is motionless
her lips pressed
alike our lady’s in the painting she prays to
now and then i lean over her face
to check if she’s breathing

i listen and
as we are outgrowing our already tight shoes
as our hair is growing darker
and our cartilage erodes as we run
the atmosphere outside combusts
and the child bodies in us burn
like birthday candles
so rapid that in the morning we
do not remember

tiny deaths

unbearable sultriness urges loud breaths
sleeping in the same room
angst heavier than the air
fills out the space like carbon dioxide
and we suffocate in the nightmare

in father's dream emptiness proliferates
like potato bugs
until they’vecompletely destroyed the crops
at times he coughs
like a cat trying to cough up
a ball of fur
brother grinds his teeth
mother is motionless
her lips pressed
alike our lady’s in the painting she prays to
now and then i lean over her face
to check if she’s breathing

i listen and
as we are outgrowing our already tight shoes
as our hair is growing darker
and our cartilage erodes as we run
the atmosphere outside combusts
and the child bodies in us burn
like birthday candles
so rapid that in the morning we
do not remember
Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère