Authors: 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(0). doi: https://doi.org/10.3998/absinthe.1743
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 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 geraniums.
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, 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 herbarium.
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.