The Drowning Peoplehttps://i0.wp.com/barrenmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/lingoFeet-of-the-Boatman.jpg?fit=1920%2C1920&ssl=119201920Maria PopovicMaria Popovichttps://i0.wp.com/barrenmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Maria-Popovic.png?fit=87%2C96&ssl=1
When I was a weight my mother carried in her,
she walked the streets in protest of her country
committing massacre in the Bosnian war.
My mother says:
“I do not care about politics”
but the reek of bloody hands
will wake even a sleeping hound,
smelling one metallic-tasting thought:
do we understand
we will live what we choose
again and again?
As a child, I felt ashamed
for being born in a sinking country.
I did not want to be one of the
drowning people: even when they reach
shore they breathe water all their lives.
I have since learned that some people
drown in air; drown in the soil
that bore them, drown strangled by
beloved hands, drown by State order
choked with words they were not allowed
to taste. Some drown in fire.
Some drown with a knee on their throat.
Each missed breath,
condensed by unaging rage,
makes the frost that bites
the forehead of the Titan-statue
whose pompousness spells
I T H A S A L W A Y S B E E N T H I S
up, up, to be seen from the Moon
cracking its hollow skull,
lines thin like lightning.
each missed breath is a drop drained
from this granitic vastness, like
and drop by drop
we make the tide that swipes the Earth.
The old Gods drown.
Maria is an emerging poet born in Belgrade and raised in Italy. She is currently based in Dublin in pursuit of a PhD in physics at Trinity College. Her poetry has been published in Ghost City Review and Collective Realms Magazine. Her short play was selected as one of the winners for Fishamble’s #TinyPlayChallenge.