I


 

Something hangs over

our heads, new days,

an ancient sword, scraps of love

kept back in our sleep.


 

Hesitantly we look at them

from our chairs, stuck fast,

still consume the time

when we were turned on like rabbits

by the light of life and the women

who were not yet under our skin.


 

Something hangs over our heads

and we exchange philosophical looks,

affection that flickers

like a burnt-out bulb.

 


 

II


 

From needle to thread

we are wrapped up

together.


 

No machine was

needed, only decade-

long hands, precision

and the daily load

of worn patches in our body language.


 

Each evening we still consist of little holes.

eternal stitching, mellow happiness

sewn into our waistcoats.


 

Only at night do we go naked

to bed in order


 

from needle to thread

to sew our sex shut.

Wrapped up like that


 

we fall apart.

From Retroactive (2014); translated by Paul Vincent