I don't know all the people squeezing my cheeks, stroking my hair, wetting my face with kisses. This is a port, a ship is towering above us as a mountain, and eventhough it's hot they dressed me up in a coat with a hood, like Little Red Riding Hood. I look at Grandma, startled: I always knew that only children cried.
That's the first thing I found out about the new city: its buildings are attached to each other, sealed tightly, like a gang of boys blocking the way of the excluded kid on the sidewalk.
The second thing: it rains in summer too.
I plan the sentence in my head, making sure I remember all the words and can pronounce them all (preferably words without r). The conversation has already gone on.
Wide-eyed during siesta time. Held tight under the blanket tucked under the mattress. I have never been so awake. It's forbidden to get up, to protest, to make a sound. Forbidden. Waiting for four o'clock. Suddenly, a rusty nail on the window sill. I take it, put it on my tongue. Swallow. Now I want to scream, but no voice emerges out of my throat.
I get ready, spread my arms. If it weren't for the treacherous neighbor lady from next door who waved to Mom through the window, and Mom who came running from the kitchen and snatched me from the balcony's banister, I would have made the jump.
After all the subjects have been exhausted, the conversation around the table gave out. Everybody turned their eyes to me, to the child. And this child is reticent and stubborn. She will not save you.
"And do you remember that once a snake got into the kindergarten?"
"No. I was afraid only of the children."
I sit by the edge of a swimming pool, dipping my feet in the deep water. Someone pushes me in. Perhaps he wouldn't have done it had he known I can't swim, I think on the way down. I sink till my toes touch the bottom and then I rise. I pull my head out of the water and know that now I should scream "Help!" before I go under again, but I forgot what country I'm in and what language I'm supposed to shout in.
Translation: Tal Nitzán
(Last fragment translated by Aliza Raz)