from Poems 2014

Theis Ørntoft

This night, this year
somewhere between all atoms
died what one would call my mother.
It is said that she sang still as they sliced her open.
It is said that the oil dripped from her liver.
Or it is said
that she fell through days and nights
until the river at the bottom
carried her corpse into the jungle.
It is said, and that is how it becomes true.
I watch her skeleton
inside an amber lump on the nightstand
over rooftops the sky turns pale.
Then comes the sun.

Beneath the asphalt
sheep heads roll
down over steep slopes
to the factory where my children
are sewing into themselves.

I dreamt that I walked out of the solar system through a wall of jungle.
I dreamt that my tongue licked the world clean of glaciers
when you clean, you must do it properly
cloudless sky and comet.

Emergency exits in the mind
blood roads through the body

citruslike sensations
as if I crossed a river
of hypodermic needles. 

Two eyes open
in the space of an awakening.
I saw the geometry of millenniums
in a microscope
the red light
in a garden
of my old age
what is it, friend
what is it.
All time exists in a second
the stream of blood cells
through abstract dictatorships
my footsteps glow

to step over a mountain range
and reach the sea. 

My catastrophe awareness
is exceptionally fine
but almost useless
At all times I fear that a creature
will open up my life
with its gnarled nails.
Afternoon now, once
veins branched out
in distrust
for everything
and everyone
obey me
land on your feet
in streets of maggots
in an electric masquerade.

translated from the Danish by Katrine Øgaard Jensen