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.



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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.

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