Author: Kornelia Koepsell
Translator: Marielle Sutherland


He could still go out and save the life of someone.
Instead, he sits there, slumbering and drunk
in some bar or other, eyes voided, sunk
deep in his doughy face. Night in Manhattan.

The universe leaves him cold, and when he hears
the sirens howl and sees the flames erupt,
his taxed heart falters and falls flat.
What sense is left to bring the world to peace?

Lurking close, forlorn nocturnal shapes,
itching to plunder, grasping, inching in.
Manhattan has grown vast on ancient myths,

now fading within him. Long past now, the times
of superheroes, when he leapt from buildings, when
he could still carry children in his arms.


From Kornelia Koepsell,  Weißes Rauschen: Gedichte (Edition Faust 2015)