The Stony Sea

– Where do you want to go?
– I don’t know.
– When will you come back?
– Soon – I’m telling you: soon.
– Why don’t you tell me where you’re going?
– I don’t know. I’ll return.
– You do that often now.
Why don’t you take me along?
– I have to be alone.
– Should I move out?
– I’m not going away from you.
I want to be with myself.
– If something happens to you?

I bend over her, straighten the bedspread.
Dark metal. Moon-white mirrors. Some snow on
the south slope. Nightclub for clever foxes at woods’ edge.
Gathering of stars in the midst of mountain peaks. Matte,
elevated hills, curves. Downward. Overtaking forbidden.

Additionally: the sea pounds roots, petrified wings, black &
blue at the edge of the basin. Stone after stone, a night
sinks, cold as the left ventricle.

– I heard you, you’re still in the stairwell.
– Nothing’s happened, do you believe me now?
– Was it nice?
– It did me good. Brief enough for you?
– 35 minutes. I almost fell asleep.
The moon gives off a lot of light, please open the window,
I  can breathe fresher then.
– Did you pack my school-bag for tomorrow?
– Yes…. Next time – will you take me along?


Translated, from the German, by Stuart Friebert

Stuart Friebert’s third volume of Krolow translations, Puppets in the Wind: Selected Poems of Karl Krolow, appeared in 2014 from Bitter Oleander Press. Be Quiet: Selected Poems of Kuno Raeber in Friebert’s translations is from Tiger Bark Press (2015). Friebert’s 14th book of poems, On the Bottom, is from Iris Press (2015); and Floating Heart, from Pinyon Press in 2014 won the 2015 Ohionana Book Award for poetry in 2015. The Language of the Enemy, memoir-pieces and stories, have just been published by Black Mountain Press.

Join the conversation