Monika Rinck (Germany)
to refrain from embracing, translated by Nicholas Grindell (Providence, Rhode Island: Burning Deck, 2011)
futro. the fur. foaming and oiling, the heat of the prongs,
the limp little animal. the neighbours the neighbours
what were their names? it's coming unstuck, coming loose.
timbers work themselves free. a piece of downright
slapdashery, botched from start to finish, it's a fiasco.
the blond roof of straw. how it thrashes about. battles
the wind with the wind, a beating. a rumbling.
anything the salvage or extinguish, perhaps? anything burning?
do the animals need evacuating? plucking from the flames
at the very last moment? no, i hear no screaming.
the animals are fine. which means you can rest at last.
the bucket seat. as if, in its depths, people might sweat
from down below with a strangled bleat. there must be
something sloping in this car, or an illusion.
i took the infernal machine, except that the driver
had a hump, a bridge arching out from the middle
of his back, which i didn't notice 'til my hand was on it,
the edges identical, identical to mine. my hands, that is.
to the left the lie or the chasm, and i looked down
into a valley where it was thawing. the water running off.
distance cured as quick as it came, you say?
yes and no, waterfalls plunged feathers and fragile ribs,
some kind of remote skeletons. stop blubbing,
i tell him. you're crying again, everything will get
wet or perish. the airport run. we're travelling
flooded lanes, yes, are you blubbing again, you swine?