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Ana Seferović – Falling Bodies

Falling Bodies

They met up in a hotel room

He rented it for a night

On a table a bottle of whiskey and few lines of coke, were
waiting for her

This is good-she thought

She feels strong repulsion towards naked bodies

Towards hers as well

Drugs, drinks do help

(Mastering repulsion)

First things first

First hate you learn from your mother

And her mother hated so good, so many things –

Men – she said – too big presence – occupying too much space
– their legs wide spread across the chairs – their smells – their

She hated bodily functions-nobody should know you have
those-and she always ate alone

She hated neighbours and flies and hairs and pigeons and her
father and sometimes her mother

She hated strongly the president and the government and any
kind of system

She hated the church – I might change my mind if a woman
becomes a Patriarch, but I don’t think so, I am nobody’s rib!

And she hated the winter- I will get myself arrested – heating is
better in jail!

Sometimes, she hated summer as well- the exuberance, the fuss,
the sun

(Elaborate and relentless agenda of opening and shutting the
windows and blinds throughout the day)

And she hated people who talk too much, especially in certain

And people who were walking too slow, she hated untidiness
and people who do not hate

She was constantly talking about Sparta:

“In Sparta they would throw me off a cliff long time ago!

Soft is the tit of our civilisation!

Nurturing idiots!

But at the end, you know –

What we deserve, that will decompose us!”

She was snorting cocaine from the table, thinking about her
mother and about Sparta, and how in her family the custom
was, when a girl gets her first period she is expected to wash
her underwear by herself, even though there were perfectly
operating washing machines

You inform your mother that you are bleeding, and she tells

Right, from now on,  you are washing your pants by yourself!

And there you are – in a sterile bathroom exile – there you are
bent over the bathtub, trying to wash away your bloody shame

He approached her from behind and started to lift her skirt and
pull down her tights

He managed to make her interested

He entered her while she was still snorting the lines

Oh you are so dirty!

Before she thought she was good in bed – now, that is not
important to her

He put cocaine on her lips and then licked it off

She didn’t want to do the same to him, he wasn’t insisting

She was happy about it

She was covered in his sweat

Drops from his soaked hair were dripping into her mouth

She didn’t like that

He was slippery and nervous

She was bored and tired

It all felt like such hard work

She wanted him to come, to stop, to end this funny human


Partly she wanted to come

That would not happen

That rarely happens

Finally it was over, she turned around and pretended she fell

In the morning they were drinking coffee, nicely dressed, they
were human beings again

He looked nice

He walked her to the station

I don’t want to see him again. I don’t want to see anybody

In the train, she felt her buttocks pleasantly aching, firm from
all the night sex

She was content

Sex is good for you

Sex improves immune system

Makes you confident

Gets you places

Burns calories

Makes you fit

Sex makes you worthy

All those slightly gross naked foreign bodies

Dry and thirsty

All these

Working bodies

Commuting bodies

Earning bodies

Eating bodies

Writing poetry bodies

Pregnant bodies

Disabled bodies

Sleeping bodies

All those temporary bodies in a constant reshaping towards

Could you ride all those bodies?

She looked down the carriage – faces, stomachs, groins

Yes I probably could

It is strange how we are made –

To need each other in this way

She left her country long time ago –

An immigrant

And that’s it!


Enough for her for this life

But it was good. Happiness is banality. It is common places:

She came with a small bag, she was sleeping in corridors,
churches, on sofas, on benches

Anywhere she could fit

She was working on markets, sometimes as a cleaner, as a

As a dog walker, as anything you want

Life was getting better

The lights were shining bright

She was even in a film once

Not a bad film

Parties were great, gay clubs even better

Once she met a famous musician, he even invited her for a ride
in his pink convertible

They were driving along a street full of clubs and people were
waving to them, she felt that

At that moment her life was going somewhere

Going somewhere big time

Going somewhere in style

In a big pink convertible

But nothing much happened

She got tired and closed her doors

Used up all the excuses why she can’t go out – people left her
alone at the end

She started to gather objects, from charity shops, one pound
shops, stuff she would find on the streets. Things people were
throwing away

After a while it was impossible to invite anybody to her flat – it
was overcrowded from the floor to the ceiling. The only way
to move around was through narrow corridors and paths in
between piles of objects

At one point she did have somebody

For some reason he thought that all those piles of unidentified
objects were an art installation – her ongoing project

She said nothing to undeceive him
It was beautiful that somebody saw her incompetence at life as
an art form


The relationship was dragging

She got pregnant

Pregnancy was a horrifying prospect

But she decided to keep the child

Like jumping from a cliff

That was the feeling

They tried to stay together and made another child

Life became a relentless routine

They didn’t last

At least you managed to multiply – her mother said

She even had a pet dog from a rescue centre –

We will go to a proper walk tomorrow, I promise you – she was
telling the same sentence to the dog almost every day

The animal stayed unrescued

Instead she would go to meet men, sometimes women

All sorts of men. All sorts of women. The ones she did love. And
the ones she didn’t love

Fascinated with differences, with uncountable variations of
always the same

Mesmerised with possibilities

She loved with her totally incompatible people (who knew that
right away, she knew that as well right away just couldn’t resist

And couldn’t focus (on her self)

The only thing she could do for hours was drinking or sleeping
(sometimes with somebody but only with pauses)

She started to fantasize how she would go back to her mother
country and reinvent herself as a farmer

She will never go back, she will never be a farmer

Now she feels too old to try to become anything

(The blood stops the same way it started: suddenly, too soon and
that would be it)

What do you do? Nothing. Nothing? Yes, I do nothing

She doesn’t even understand what all those people are doing in
all those offices, in all those tall glittery buildings..

She doesn’t understand jobs or job ads

She does, but…

It was warm and humid

Morning breaths

The train

The rhythm of movement – light flickering

The head is falling down, then goes up again

I could be any story from this train I could be with anybody on
this train

This train … The train of events

Everything just happened

By itself

It happened

And that is me

That thing that happened

Who am I?

Am I this name glued to this inferior ID?



What school my dear

No school

Schools are for them

To tame them and train them to rule the world

And what did I learn in my school?

Where are the palm trees?

Have you exercised regularly, particularly working on your bum:

In the era of the ass, you should always take care of your knees

We finally caved in- if nothing we stopped with the hypocrisy.

At least we are honest and now we love our big, fat, greedy asses,
openly, proudly, selfishly, unconditionally. If nothing we are not
pretending anymore

We are free. We don’t want to be anything else but what we are.

The problem is that thing that we are

The thing that I am

She fell asleep grumpily

The train – the rhythm of movement – light flickering

The train

She loved to travel on trains and to pretend that she was running
to her office

She works in a restaurant

She hates her job, but the weakness passes quickly when she
remembers about money

She remembers about money and starts scraping the dishes with
even more energy

(Motivational letter. Fuck off.

System – the self deluded rapist, who believes he is gentle. And
not only is forceful, but demands reciprocity, demands from us
to be motivated, inspired by him. He demands love)

He was coming to that restaurant very often, on his lunch break.

He caught one of the girls, washing the dishes, looking at him
like from a portal to another dimension

Real people with real jobs and strong hands – he thought
watching her scrubbing the greasy trays

They are strong

They eat well

He went hard

He decided at that moment he would try to think less about sex

He left a generous tip

Later, after work he saw the same woman drinking at a nearby
bar alone

She looked tired, pale and not so strong as she seemed in the
restaurant, even fragile

They chatted a bit, with immigrants he talked about immigrant
issues, it is irresistable –

This is at least the third time that bodies of immigrants have
fallen from an aircraft in this area – have you read the newspaper?

How did they get inside the plane?

Someone must be incredibly desperate to leave their country in
that way!

Yes, the falling bodies- she nodded her head and spread her legs
a bit so she could touch his knee

I like your strong legs

I like your strong accent

They exchanged mobile numbers and the following evening
they made the hotel arrangement

Now that is finished as well

He won’t be coming to that restaurant anymore

From Materina (Ana Seferovic: Materina, CONTRABAND, London, 2018)

Ana Seferović, Belgrade-born writer, has published four poetry books: Duboki kontinent (Deep Continent – Matica Srpska, 2000), Beskrajna zabava (Endless Entertainment – Narodna knjiga, 2004), Zvezda od prah-šećera (A Star Made of Icing Sugar – Association of Writers and Translators Pančevo, 2012). 2018 saw the publication of her newest poetry book Materina (Arhipelag). She lives in London.




Read the other texts published in the Poetry section.

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