from kochanie i bought bread

Uljana Wolf

kochanie i bought bread

how the foreign in
forms conversations

i recognize them
with my back warm

with my eyes shut
on a double bed

still without model
without the right answer

only acclimating  
to hill and dale the

way something hap
pens to form halves

atop a translatable

displacement of the mouth

around four in the morning
i watch the mouth’s dis

with the last
yawning gust
the house shuts
lips thin as lids

in contrast the sky cracks   
back its jaw: lightblue
close to uvula
over the dark, taut
tongue-arch of the forest 

from a misted mouth
a rain long held
breath unsnarls: as if 
across the sleeper’s
lashes speaking


he had at night            has arms

thick trails of underbrush the veins
sprawl halfway through the dark

he had at night            has hands
like clutches has ach hedges
bled from berry-light to plight

he had at night            has axes
thrust and beam-fleet brutishly
brandished heavily dug up he

has arms hands axes
groanumerated chippings
stark naked he has tilled no

this one has killed

guest room

                         the world is so small
                         the world has only two stories
                                        —Halina Poświatowska

lock me love into your prayer
into the two stories of this world
into the will to wall myself in voice

when step by step
the guest steals in

to our mouth
to our room
with the cherry-red door

lock me in love
where women lock themselves in
where women speak

when strophe by strophe
the guest is better versed

in our mouth
in our room
with the cherry-red door

little brother & little sister

in the time
before the hunter

my only den
was your back

my mouth forgave
you every thirst

as long as
you stayed

ach little brother
bothered beast 

what is my murmur
compared to wellsprings   

when the rubbling-horn comes
along the forest

you carry
your silent pelt

of the hunter

how the little murmur came into poetry
on a poem by roman honet

                         (I speak to you, sister!) . . . 
                         Little murmur, i beg you—
                                        —Roman Honet

this house
leads with the teeth

when the brother speaks
his lips become fences

only the sister
on the garden path

holds a skipping rope
with bated breath:    

my name is little murmur
i’ve grown up

with this border trade
on my tongue

translated from the German by Greg Nissan