translated from Slovenian by Andrew Zawacki and the author Like lover’s juice spat by a woman for hire, they’re driven by desperate, radiant light, far away down the deserted plains, to columns of people traveling, tired, past the ruins of town hall and the cathedral, past walls that barely differ from the stones themselves covered by moss, past the meadows where trespass is not allowed. Crossing the former trenches, the weakest among them had seen the towers of smoke rising from camp fires under the forest line. Their translucent eyes reflect only shadows of clouds gliding over the narrow trails they’re walking down, they conjure pastures and fertile valleys, moments of sheer delight, they dream of large estates, expertly manicured. Water sources camouflaged by the coarse facade of rocks, they stand at the edge of a steep ravine that flats their echo out, like a blasé god with slack fists, and dazed. Keep their eyes closed, on a fragile crag they slough their jackets, patched together of rough flax, and lie down on their backs, in comfort, vests slither over their heads, their trousers over their ankles drop to a quivering pile. Naked under familiar gray, in the narrow funnel of mountains they see it, for the last time: these drugged women and children, with faces of stillborn animals, the big moon above, a small village below, and me—we all need to know why.