The Nation by Selma Asotić

You are
palms cupping
empty graves.

You are
mother’s madness
stirred in a teacup.

You are
father’s life threaded
through the eye of a needle.

You are
all that does not love me.
You are
the curse planted under my pillow,
the ancient murder
thickening in the delta of my veins,
and the rage,
the rage heaving
in this castle
built upon columns
of phantom limbs.

You are
brother’s hand-me-down sweater,
assaulted by a platoon of moths.
You are
the cocked pistol
found in the backyard
during a game of hide-and-seek,
and the knowledge,
aimed at the the bone marrow,

that nothing
in this world
will ever fit.

Photographic response by Nerma Sofić


Selma Asotić lives in Sarajevo, where she’s trying to write poetry. In between writing poems, she works as a freelance translator and an EFL teacher. Her poems, essays, and translations have appeared in local and international literary journals, including EuropeNow. She is the co-founder and co-editor of the magazine for feminist theory and art BONA, currently the only feminist magazine in BiH. She is working on her first full-length poetry collection.

Nerma Sofić was born in 1985. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Sarajevo and works as a photographer and designer. 


Published on July 6, 2017.

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