Published in Overland Issue 245 Summer 2021 Poetry girl Dženana Vucic I am watching her lick her blood off the floor and I am thinking: it is a marvel that the nose can lose so much and remain intact I am thinking: what is a fist a shoe a foot a book what is a belt a wooden spoon a frying pan if not a kind of missile. what is war if not everything that comes after it. I am watching her stand between me and pain and she is small but determined she is all raised chin and frown set mouth and grinding teeth and I am thinking: you cannot save anyone you cannot break suffering into even halves you cannot redirect a storm when you are living in it. I am watching her play at cheeky her tongue a momentary waggle immediately regretted as the hand rises to meet it; I am watching the laughter fall out of her cheeks and her big big eyes shudder into expectation and I am thinking: where did you learn such lightness and why did you think it could live here, with us? I am watching her body slammed against walls until she learns to turn violence pre-emptive until her fists are bruises against her thighs until the scream has gone rancid in her throat until she is the wall. I am watching her waste away grow fragile and reedy then brittle and sharp; I am watching her transform into corners and I am thinking: can you shed the past like kilos or is trying to a kind of looking away. can you look away? I am looking at the wall and listening to her in the next room and I am thinking: the neighbours will hear this and part of me wants them to and part of me is afraid and I am thinking: please, be quiet. I am watching her slice off her excess which is flesh yes but joy too frivolity wonder the upward quirk of a mouth in full bloom and I am thinking it is a marvel that a girl can lose so much and remain I am thinking what is a girl but a body a fist a mouth big big eyes and all the yearning caught in her throat. Read the rest of Overland 245 If you enjoyed this piece, buy the issue Or subscribe and receive Dženana Vucic Dženana Vucic is a Bosnian-Australian writer, editor and 2020 Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellow. Her essays and poetry have been published in Overland, Meanjin, Stilts, SAND, Kill Your Darlings, Going Down Swinging, APJ, Plumwood Mountain, the Australian Multilingual Writing Project, Rabbit, and others. She has been shortlisted for the 2019 Deakin Nonfiction Prize, the 2020 Nillumbik Contemporary Writing Prize and the 2020 Woollahra Digital Literary Award. She tweets at @dzenanabanana. More by Dženana Vucic Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 16 December 202225 January 2023 Poetry Poetry | Wombats shit candy Michael Farrell To avoid treading on a snake, I stepped on a land mine. Did this really happen, in my dream? No. Is it a fiction, then? Yes and no. The time I spend looking for socks is insignificant: lie, irony, or philosophy? Wombats shit candy. Joke – hallucination? This is in fact a truth claim. My poems: litanies of truth claims. 1 First published in Overland Issue 228 14 December 202225 January 2023 Reviews The moral risk of taking things too seriously: on Gareth Morgan’s When A Punk Becomes A Spunk Elese Dowden In his review of Lucy Van’s The Open, Gareth Morgan writes that Van writes 'against the impulse to ponder dutifully about the sins of the past and present.' This fucked me up for some time. What is it to ponder dutifully? But perhaps more importantly, how do we ponder in a way that's more … metal?