The Train

by Vesna Marjanovich

before leaving Sarajevo, April 21, 1995

Cold windy night

In a lonely station, the rain.

I clutch my bag and cry

In gray Belgrade.

It takes forever when I wait train

to take me out

of my life.

Roundabout of my mistake

in the brain underground.

That day I visit

your mom seals my destiny,

stick like a cachet,

my puckered wound.


Mother teacher, neat writing.

“I have a friend in the city you are visiting.

This address might help. Take it.”

Doe eyes gaze –

her knowing. These hands that bring a coffee mug.

The body that has carried you and nourished you.

I took the sip,

the worm liquid had taste

of your lips.

I let her ask me whatever. Her voice with perfect pause.

She listens.

How do I manage to leave Sarajevo in war?

And where do we meet each other?

Glance at her library.

“Anna Karenina” of course.

For a moment

her presence

and the train coming

gives a sense of a plan, relief.

She pulls out

your wedding album

and you stand there in front,

well balanced ski – coach

like you did on the enemy line.

And I stumble out

dug in my sorrow,

sobbing: back, back, back,

but drugging myself forward.

Then a train whistle sound

like a pretext:

New chapter, new chapter, new chapter.

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