Milica Milenkovic (Serbia)

Milica Milenkovic

Milica Milenkovic was born in 1989. in the Serbian city of Nis. She acquired a master’s degree in Serbian and comparative literature at the University of Nis. She published two collection of poems: Smaller that a palm (2010) and Via Militaris, Via dolorosa (2013). Her work also includes a novel Homunculi (2010) and a book of literary criticism by the name of Critical interpretations (2016). She edited the Collected works of Gordana Todorovic (2018) and the Collected works by the School of active reading and creative writing. She received numerous awards in the field of literature and literary criticism.

 

CHRISTMAS CAKE
 
A mother will, at Christmas,
fingers in the field
in the seeds
in the grains
bake in male strenght
a windmill
wheel and stone
 
A mother will, at Christmas,
oxen in a yoke
a house by the road
a snake under the barn
the dead under the threshold
 
A mother will –
a cross in the midlle,
a crossroad and a guidepost
 
 
 
LOVE IN THE TIME OF PRIDE
 
It was your birthday
just yesterday
And the night before I dreamed of you
 
I dreamed you writing to me
You ask how I am
You ask for my health
You ask me whether my nuptials were
 
I woke up in the day of your birth
to ask how you are
How’s health
whether your nuptials were.
 
Have they been
Are they coming soon?
Or. because of pride
our apple on the roof is withering.
 
 
FLAGS AT HALF MAST
 
We dreamed one another before our birth
We lowered the flag of our country
Down the casements of my windows
The night was burning off the white towels
And the flags in the hands of the groomsmen
Drums and zurlas made us a dervish.
 
We were spinning 1* together
Spun along the circle
Spun as one
 
Until the gates of this city attracted us
The flags burned in the name of false freedom
The Jericho trumpets from the ruined windows
 
And then we spinning as well
we were spinning like they did it
around the fake city
 
were spinning until
Flags of our hearts
We have lowered at half mast
And we closed all our windows forever.
 
 
 
OUR HOUSE, OUR COUNTRY
 
I’m showing by my finger the way to our house
through the glass of a car in which one is your hand
always on the steering wheel
and the other among my legs.
 
I take your hand
and I lead to our country,
we are entering our house,
in our dream villa,
This is just а reality,
 
And before that I offer you a dog house.
But I’m not a dog, you say, and you’re my bitch,
and bring me once inside,
you say,
but this is realty
our house has no doors and windows,
you’ll lift me up against the wall
you like to peeled lime bi stucked in my skin
You say this house is wrecking,
I know it’s falling apart,
and we are swing left and right
while making love
the ceiling is creaking
the time is peeling the beams like a rabbit,
You say you are my cat,
and this is nostra time nostra terra, small,
you are drawing on my back
a house with doors and windows
which is painted in white,
and I’m planting flowers
while you are walking our dog.
 
But we are in someone else’s house
in some forest,
It’s time to go,
your flight is about to
I’m taking paper and making a plane
I paint the window with coal
in the window you with a raised arm
how are you waving
 
You are leaving,
I’m staying
I remain leaning against a broken window
in your T-shirt,
in your black shirt,
from which some guy
is showing middle finger
to entire world.
 
 
THE PRINCESS ON THE PEA
 
There was once a plate on the table.
One grain of pea in it
and the eternal question:
to eat or to sow?
It’s not a magical bean
to grow overnight
to the castle of a giant
to pearl necklaces
and a bag full of gold coins
and a seven-mile boot.
 
To switch the plate as a shell?
Put it on the bottom
of an imagined sea
and wait for the pearl
creates itself from the blister.
(But a long wait
ticks the time,
empty stomach
counts it`s patience)
So, to eat!
To eat this seed from which
maybe overnight
sprout out scales for salvation,
or a following day
a shell
emerge from the bottom of the sea
and become a plate again
on one empty royal table
where the pensive princess sits,
looking sad in the grain
and asks herself:
 
to eat or to sow
her last
power atom.
 
 
 
BRANKICA
 
And you would like Brankica.
That girl from a little apartment
over the crossing of our town.
A girl with long brown hair.
 
And you would have liked Brankica if you just had met her.
You’d love her while you’re going that street
holding Mom by the hand
than meet her mom and ask for Brankica.
And she says Brankica has gone.
And your mom asks
Is she has gone to her father?
(Brankica is a child of divorced parents)
And her mom says
She did not go with her father
My Brankica has passed away
And you squeeze your mom’s hand and look at the sky
and ask what Brankica died of.
because of the heart, your mother will say
of the heart, of the heart, of the heart
 
Now, while you are cuddling your hair,
Only now do you know what is “of the heart”
And how girls named Brankica die
 
You would like her like I do
I’m looking at the windows of that apartment
Which I’m going along this street
And while I comb my hair, I see her face
And so plain, so simple
throughout whole life
I want to have hair like Brankica had.
 
 
 
AUSCHWITZ SHOES
 
When the midnight
Come to the dark side of people
When the silent come to the shot-down-screams
When the birds stop singing
When they need to fly at the last
Metaphores of time go out from the glass
The shoes come to us from the past
 
One minut
Two minuts
A clock there are not:
 
We must free the German nation
Of Poles,
Russians,
Jews
and Gypsies
 
One milion
Two milion people
There have been shot:
 
1 100 000 Jews
140 000 15 000 Poles
23 000 Roma (Gipsies)
15 000 Soviet persons of war
25 000 Prisoners from other ethnic groups
 
One step
Two milion steps
Step by step of shooting-voice:
 
Come here!
Come in!
Belay there!
Bring up to the death!
 
It need to be the German-noice!
 
When the midnight
Knock at the Aushwitz door
And the show-window-shoes runs away
There is breaking all that glass
Which take prisoner-shoes and shoes-slaves
After shot-people in the chambers-Gas
 
It say grace
about time-around-pass
That knows the limit of human main
All the revolt-visitors walking
From The Eon Mind of The Great Lord
Which give us a shot of silent memos rain
 
Fosil slave shoes in Aushwitz
only knows the human pain.
 
Translated by: Milko Grbovic

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