toss the little snapdragons behind you | that nothing fits with | from the natural history museum i know | you lie on thin sheets as on paper | a doe hounded into snow

  • Ronya Othmann
  • Michaela Kotziers

How to Cite:

Othmann, R. & Kotziers, M., (2021) “toss the little snapdragons behind you | that nothing fits with | from the natural history museum i know | you lie on thin sheets as on paper | a doe hounded into snow”, Absinthe: World Literature in Translation 27. doi: https://doi.org/10.3998/absinthe.1743



[toss the little snapdragons behind you]

toss the little snapdragons behind you. you
must not turn around. leave everything
behind that reminds you of her. the
rubbish before the gate, you will spell that
in winter, as a sparrow spells march.
you already forgot what it was.
snow, as if it had never been here.
empty courtyard entries, a false
claim, the black-eyed susan
behind your back. no name for
your girl. the village has no home for
you. you can’t even live
in the woods. you ask yourself, while you
go, if it is the pavement that cannot
carry your shoes, or your shoes
not the pavement.

[that nothing fits with]

that nothing fits with what i can
write under january. her hair on
my pillow still not enough for a
wig. i wish for hospital
beds like ships. white sheets, i give
everything away. arms, legs, torso, ovaries.
twilight is settling, drop for drop.
her hands are not the ones that
twist and turn me. i search the blue
for signs. under my
closed eyes. steps, her jacket
flapping around the hips, a knock on
wood, the door. it is not the time for

[from the natural history museum i know]

from the natural history museum i know:
if i grind sand between my
fingers, soil and coal, the vines
unrobe, the boar is riled up, rises up,
trims surrounding time. how are these
trees to be understood. and do the
hairs on my body count as a meadow. it’s simplest to love
backwards. if while singing you join
a bird, you can do without the
whistling sound. from the natural history
museum i do not know: is that my
forest or yours. and a recoil that
grows in the grasses, like a
racket, gray in an ash, a
reaper too, a searcher, a looker, a
cause for. where to with the scab.

[you lie on thin sheets as on paper]

you lie on thin sheets as on
paper, a fluttering moth, a
delicate animal. i push your arms and
legs aside, their weight and you into
sleep. more cannot be staked out
by this field and to what ends. before
the house there stands rain and i in shoes.
how does a stranded doe act.
and now. only barley and crops wherever
you go. pin room, my
pinned hem is wet. and the place to wait
a piece of floor, a light speck, will
soon be its surrounding. i go though
bittersweetly. one must push something
in between like straw, that
muffles the step. you cannot read into
the spores. i linger in the

[a doe hounded into snow]

A doe hounded into snow, toward the vanishing point. as if
  everything were only a
sketch. the spruces have cleared. wherever you look, fieldwork.
i do not have another, only this plowing up, drudging around,
furrowing about. before it is flush with the white. // i follow no one
  only the
thawing, this trickling, tumbling. so much is evident. who sketched
  these maps
and drew these lines. you attempt yourself a little, take
as your example the high neck coats, the bleached hair. //
like an animal that licks its wounds, and i by a sea. but
here is only corrugated steel. a reverberation from afar, the highway
washes up all kinds of flotsam and me, with eyes closed // take
me to the land of my forefathers and a walking stick, so that
if needed, i can still defend myself in the grave.