IANA BOUKOVA NEWS
From TRAVELING IN THE DIRECTION OF THE SHADOW by Iana Boukova, translated by Ekaterina Petrova
ll that Yovana had left of him was a bite on her neck and an empty shirt. “Like a snake,” she said, after the first few months had passed. And though she said it to herself, the ‘s’ snapped like a whip and turned the scar violet. The shirt held an entire body inside itself, retained the body’s outline through its scent, and at night slept next to her in the bed. But the shirt eventually gave up too, defeated by time, and nothing remained in it any longer. What could she do with a dead shirt but wash it and put it away in the trunk where it belonged, to never again take it out nor to throw it out. The scar turned bloody every time she picked at it and tried to reproduce its crescent shape. Whenever silence fell, it pulsated in a rhythm different from that of her heart. It was a time without nights or days, with only a constant grayish light, hybrid, murky, foretelling no awakening. Yovana continued sleeping inside her body, which rose every morning and carried out its chores, and combing her hair until the comb almost broke. The days passed uncounted and unnamed, her blood kept track of the months, while the seasons kept track of themselves, two years, three years, three Easters, four Christmases. Until he suddenly cropped up where he had not been sown, with his shoes covered in foreign dust and his large hands hidden behind his back, as though he were holding a gift or a knife. And he said he had come to see her father. But she never found out what it was that he held, because there was no need, she said, she had already been promised to someone else.
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© 2019, Translated from Bulgarian by Ekaterina Petrova
© 2019, Iana Boukova
Contact e-mail: bukova.iana(at)gmail.com