From the poetry collection From Sarajevo with Sorrow, translated by Amela Simic and published by Biblioasis in 2005.
My beautiful old ones are disappearing slowly. They simply leave, without rules, without a farewell. They stoop down to reach a clothes-peg and turn into earth. Just for a day, their names invade a modest space in the morning paper and then withdraw before news of the war. They leave behind their diaries, their letters, and new suits readied for their funerals long ago. They pass like a breeze through the curtains of an abandoned apartment. And we forget their names. Like that of the retired captain from the ground floor we spent half the day burying because the graveyard was shelled so heavily we had to hide in his grave. For three years, he wrote letters to an imaginary son and piled them in a shoebox. Like that of a former employee of a former bank whose diaries I bought from some refugee children just before they started to make paper airplanes. They were written in invisible ink. Like that of my neighbour whose whole family had been massacred in his village, who had given me the battery radio he always had with him before we carried him out of the basement. He had never bought batteries or tried to switch it on. It is snowing outside. Just like last year. Surrounded by keepsakes whose meanings left with the old people, I try to decipher sorrow’s secret handwriting, that message which allows a snowman to watch a sunrise with indifference. Or have I already deciphered the message? Why else would I have forgotten to switch on the radio at a time when the news from the front threatened to overpower my need for letters to nobody, and diaries in which nothing is written? While it is snowing outside. Just like last year.