Father, gnashing his teeth in all languages,

eats his glass thoughts

through which we stare at him

like a dying fire.


He is a torch

of windy talk

and more and more often he sleeps

in his patched words,

in the mumbling bed

of sentences that he stretches

between us

and the children he wants.


The warmth of his mouth cools

down. Father blurs in frame

narratives, in rhymes

about how things once were,

when we didn’t yet dwell

in his going to sleep.


He yawns and listens

to himself. In his tongue

there’s a century, in his body

half at most.


Father doesn’t hear us

and sleeplessly piles up children

in his head.

From Retroactive (2014); translated by Paul Vincent