Now we have our dead

Now we have our dead.
Dead friends,
a dead mother or father.
Now we know
what must be done,
where to call,
how much
a wreath costs.

flew off
from our hands,
and between our fingers
a lizard’s tail
lived on.

Now the geraniums on our balcony have died
and we threw them out
red flower pot and all.

Then we were with someone,
for someone,
someone said our name
and we answered,

Now when nobody calls you
a call gives you a fright at night.
Sorry, do you not remember me?
A voice asks you for help.
And says: didn’t-know-what-to-do,

Now we are alone.
Now the dead are our friends,
and we know what must be done.

Then we didn’t know how to ride a bicycle.
Nor do we now.



The smell of coffee as I wake,
the sound of cups in the kitchen,
the sun drawing curves
on the sheets I met yesterday.

As I lie on your smell
I wave
to the pictures in the room,
witnesses to our passion.

Tree branches knocking on the window,
the alarm clock on the night table
one, two, three, four
has become a tuning fork.

I hear
barefoot steps
in the hall.
You come with the breakfast tray
with its coffee,
fresh bread
and bloodstained newspaper,
this harmonic morning.


Those words

I would like to have words
In the sense
with which a child uses them
for the very first time.

I would like to have words
as shiny as fish
fresh from the water.

I would like to have balls
that strike the wall hard,
echo and
come back fast.

I would like to have
words from the gut
sugar free,
ones that contain the truth of moonshine
beautiful and uncomfortable
at the same time,
causing yearning and
heartburn at the same time.

I would like to have
words that become flesh,
like sticky newborns
in the delivery room,
lives dirtied
before they start to live.


Don’t look at me

Don’t look at me,
I don’t want to travel
to dark lands,
I don’t want to go about
touching things
in a room without light.

Don’t take me with you,
I would rather stay here,
close to the coffee machine,
house keys,
and old doormat.

Don’t take me away
from the things I know,
I have learned to avoid their edges,
I know their smells,
their old wood,
their new metal.

Don’t move me away from yawns
from shallow elevator conversations
from family meals
from planned sex
from the same old lack of patience
before taking the bus.

Don’t look at me,
for there is danger
in the summits of your eyes,
for sure,
ice, a landslide,
a flood,
that will carry with it
chairs, plants, shopping lists, forks, books,
all of the real things
that protect me.


My country

The sky of my country is not flat,
clouds thicken it.
Nothing is flat in my country,
so many grays hide in each cloud.

The sky of my country weighs heavy,
just here,
between the shoulder and the neck
it presses most,
and the clouds,
in my country,
are always ready
to let loose on someone.

The land of my country
is folded
into thousands of creases
and in the shade of those folds
the language of my country has survived.

The newborns of my country
have the voice of the old.

Many words of my country
are under the ground.

Many conversations
begin in the cemetery
in my country.