I pass oranges over the scanner
there’s a new special offer
me and the cat on the lawn
aunt lucia

By Michelle Steinbeck

Translation Jen Calleja

 

i pass oranges over the scanner thinking
i have to get away find myself
mend myself in indian forests
a woman calls after me
card left in the machine
shakes her head
two old guys with a dog earnestly shake hands
the dog snuffles the curb and takes a piss

you said that
we could sit by the stove together and
what
talk about a book or just talk
that’s what you said

the air is light
i plough through it

i want everything from the world and a good deal more
i want to go jogging on sunday afternoon
i want everything from the world and a good deal more
i want to be a good person too

i’m the worst and yet
i like myself hugely

 flies orbit the room like planets
i get in position and become their sun

 

* 

there’s a new special offer at the supermarket
from which my mother can’t be wrenched
babies
in all sizes and colours
you just need a chat with the manager
and if he finds you suitable
you can buy a baby
it’ll only cost this much
actually it’d be this much
but they’re going cheap because they have so many
the people queue up and the babies are
given the once over

 

 *

 

 me and the cat on the lawn

wow you’re fat i say
i gobbled up your bird
says the cat and smiles
don’t lie i say
your food comes from a can
the machine killed it for you
i wish i hadn’t
sighs the cat and yawns
now i have a mouth full of feathers

 

*

  

aunt lucia is in the kitchen
frying my bird
she flips it high like a pancake
while singing an italian lullaby

 

                               Eingesperrte Vögel singen mehr, Verlag Voland & Quist, 2018.

 

 

 

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