On the train I heard her say …

By Ulrike Draesner

Translation Tom Morrison

ON THE TRAIN I HEARD her say
she’d got a new favourite play
nathan the wise. thin blonde hair
a double chin, puppy fat. or maybe
something else that had taken wing
during her search for a home and was
lodged there temporarily, inside that ring, I
thought of lessing, how from his library he’d walked
to braunschweig most evenings
12 kilometres straight ahead the forest
was already there. skint? and he drank
drank till he could drink no more, gambled
till he lost, had lost the lot. stayed over
other nights walked 12 kilometres through
darkness and the standing of trees. cracking
twigs. glow-worms lugged silence into the
grass. enlightenment, dawning? those heavenly hounds
were running so fast. no whining to be heard. such
he told himself is the dawn in my own garden.
so I am entwined with myself like the braided forest.

From  berührte orte © Luchterhand Literaturverlag, 2008