text: Anna Okrasko reading: Faye Green

She is a pure lament.

Like Job, she curses the day when she was born and the night when she was conceived.

Like Job, she has no skin. She is pure flesh broken into so many little pieces that she exists only as an irritated surface.

Like Job, she opens her mouth for the first time, but there is no intelligible voice coming from within her body. She shakes and trembles in spasm. Her voice cannot find a stable corpse from within to resonate. The only sound that you can hear is of a pure denial: a moan erasing the day when she was born.

She is a Roma woman standing in the middle of a busy square. She cuts her flesh with the pieces of a broken beer bottle in the last gesture of dignity that remains. Her community runs around in a loud panic. They show you gestures meaning that she is crazy; the passers-by call the police and an ambulance.

She rocks to and fro. Within this movement she seeks another body to hold her, to support her, to comfort her. But what she desires within this swing is also her biggest risk. As she is a speech of self-denial, she doesn’t make sense to the others. As she has no intelligible voice, she claims no name for herself. Hence she doesn’t belong to the human. If she called them, they would only recognize her non-identity and her non-belonging.

You watch her and you get angry with her. You say: »Where is your voice? Where is your empowering speech act? Don’t behave like a victim!«

But, like Job, she couldn’t answer. She wouldn’t say: »Look at the ones, who did this to me! Blame the world, it caused my misery!« She couldn’t point to any direction, other than herself, because the suffering overwhelms her thinking. She doesn’t understand further than her body of pain, her body of fear, and her body of lament. Self-hatred and suicidal thoughts are the only hope that remains.

Like Job, she only desires never to have been born, never to have been conceived.


But the baby was born and it was taken from its mother. She couldn’t hold or comfort her baby. Still the infant didn’t die. Laying alone it didn’t understand further then the fear of its flesh and the irritation of its surface. The baby existed only in urgency of its pain; it existed only in blindness of the present.

The baby had no skin. It didn’t distinguish between inside and outside world. The baby was a dark day, erased from a calendar by its mother. It was a thick cloud covering it in darkness; it was an eclipse of the sun covering it in darkness, it was an absence of the morning star covering the day in darkness. It was a horrifying muteness: an absence a joyful voice, which could comfort the night, covering the day in darkness. It was a curse, of those who are able to wake up the Leviathan.

Thus, let the baby cry!

Maybe its lament will reach the mother. Let the mother recover her baby and give it a name: »Job.« Let her protect the baby’s naked surface with her skin, nurture a gentle distinction and sweet boundary between the vulnerable and the world. Her carrying gestures are nothing else but a subtle grammar of making public a private announcement, of performing an address. Her body uses a vocative case, which is not only getting the attention of the newborn but also announcing to an audience that the mother is addressing someone in particular – her daughter.


Stay with the mother and her daughter. First, face the past, where you felt so comfortable within your speech, that you developed an aversion to non-intelligible sounds and to muteness. When you understand that Job’s lament, her closed mouth, speaks to the world as articulately as do your speech and deeds, you will be ready to abandon the blindness of a present.

One day you will go with them to the primary school in your neighborhood, in order to help sign the little Job to the first class. The secretary will ask for the names of the girls. Little Job will respond: “My name is Raducano Job Esmeralda”. She and her mother have been addressed through their passports already so many times in their life, that the language of bureaucracy have become a part of their personal grammar. The school’s secretary will check the passport herself, ignoring both the mother and the daughter, as they don’t speak any intelligible language.

Job and her mum belong to the community, which tattoos names of the families’ relatives on their arms. If you look carefully at the mother’s skin you will be presented: Job, Angela, Florentina, Esmeralda, Elvis, Bianca, Elegant, Sponsor, Leonardo, and Lumitia. Their names are like necklaces.

Let the little Job stay at school for one day. She will come back crying. The kids at her class are calling her names that she doesn’t recognize as her own.

Let Job cry, hear her lament and cover her with your skin. Write on the Job’s arms the names of her relatives. Let the colors and the tickling touch of the pens that you are using become the »O’s« and the exclamation marks. »O, Job Esmeralda! O, Angela! O, Florentina! O, Elvis! O, Elegant! O, Sponsor! O, Leonardo! O, Luminita! There is a boundary! There is a skin and there is your name!«