This is the river we used to call “Little gray” when we lived briefly in the city by its shores. Ljubljana is a word that reminds me of a warm body made out of freshly baked bread, leaning tenderly against one’s breast. But how do we learn to love each other at the edge of the river, looking straight at its dark waters, while the raindrops keep falling faster and faster? Going back and forth between the Dalmatian horses and the half-erased corpses in the paintings of Zoran Mušič? By the river we used to call “Little gray” I started to collect your body limb by limb like a passenger in the tramway that realizes suddenly how limited his perspective is, how it only allows her a brief insight into fragmented torsos, elbows and crooked noses. We fed our stale bread to the ducks and the swans, and to these beaver rats which gather in the riverbanks carrying stories from across the ocean. They are invaders like us in a dream that belongs to somebody else. Look now how she tries to wake up in vain. Ljubljana is asleep. But elsewhere passion is a chaos that grows redder in every sunset. How do we love each other at this point of the night, where no straight lines exist anymore? Only curly hair and stained shirts ready to highjack the first passing bus before morning. This is the river we used to call “Little gray” crossing its bridges over and over again; a ping pong ball clips the net and goes over, where your feet under the bed sheets turn cold.
Tonia Tzirita Zacharatou
Ljubljana, September 2023