Kristian Koželj

Kristian Koželj was born in Celje in 1984. He works as a librarian at Osrednja knjižnica Celje and as a freelance theatre artist and educator. His poems, short stories and essays have been published in the literary anthology Rp Lirikon 21, and in literary journals such as Poiesis, Vpogled, Spirala, Locutio, and Vsesledje. He attended the XIV. Lirikon international literary gathering in Velenje alongside Nina Pečar. In 2013, he won the Založništvo tržaškega tiska short story contest. In 2014, his short story was in the final selection at the Urška Festival for Young Authors.


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(Foto: Eva Klevska) 

(Never) Whole

It began at about ten in the evening.

First you felt a sting left below the diaphragm
When you turned over.

A drop of blood spilled below the ruptured thread,
And stained the new silk bedlinen,
Which is so cosy to lie awake in at night.
Then the suture loosened alltogether.
A patch fell off – from the chest.
Right after it, the one over the stomach.
And a smaller one, over the liver and the spleen.
By dawn you were a pile of red-hemmed rags.
And a formless heap of white filling.
You're thinking you ought to stitch yourself back together.
And you remember that the sewing kit is in the suitcase
Which she used to pack her things in.
Some of the edges are too frayed and mouldered.
But then again, sewing was never your forte.
A button now and then, perhaps,
And even then with bloody fingers.
You take a deep breath. Examine your options.
Someone with a sewing machine might find you.
Wash you. Trim the tattered edges.
Add some new pieces.
Something usable from the other piles.
And new white filling, as the old one will be shredded by the cat.
Some evenings spent together and you'll be as good as new.
Everyone will notice it. And they'll tell you.
You'll feel that way too.
Whole, at last.

Just ...

... be careful when you turn over.


Translated by Tadeja Spruk