aranka, the name alone

fragile, a crackling
in the wood, at her feet
the landscape’s mechanics stood
out, a sound

of green spaces, well-­worn paths, like
a barren bush rushing home on
k its branches, that’s
how she was beyond us, aranka

slippered, big calved, aranka, who
sang from out of the hollows of her knees, fists
on the wheelbarrow between the buckets, aranka

the name alone smells of bread
& left-­overs – like
kk worn-­out angels’ bodies
kk  on the run, that’s how she pulled

her wheelbarrow through
the wet grass beneath the laundry-­poles, “yeah,
kk schälerelli, she’s…
already eaten shit
for two marks“ – i ask

where, aranka, your weight has spread
which rustling or when
the emptiness in our voices began, the
pattering, stuttering & around

that stuttering
when the blocs & shadows grew
kk like curses, where
as children we were put to sleep
with an aluminum spoon in our mouths
with a rubber hammer in our fists; only

from you, aranka,
not a single word. only
kkkthe glistening fats, the juices
kkkof decay, alone
kkkyour stinking wheelbarrow in the dark, its
grating whistling, this is how you set out. the wheel
was driven by a stick
& circled the house
where our sad origins rested

aranka, nights her glance met us
under the blanket, her toothless o
but do it, sung from out of
knee hollows, a hundred times over
the same song: aranka

the name alone –
heat lightening out of tristan sparrows,
picked up & starved to death
in the electrical cabinet … aranka, once again:

forgive!

Lutz Seiler, translated by Alexander Booth

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