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Two Poems

THROUGH FLIGHT

 

For a moment

we are borne into the air

and then down.

 

It is there, behind everything.

 

On the corner outside your Wohnung

where the steps descend

to meet the train

you leave,

it stops.

 

What is rawness but an opening?

 

The space inside me to which you climb

and never leave.

 

Fours hours, ours

then I begin counting down.

(What a long journey this life will be

without you.)

 

Meanwhile the train slips through the night

and we hear nothing. Past the place we inhabited,

on different strata, unseeing.

 

Until evening, the air calm

after a day of enveloping everyone.

 

And it’s just us. The stove. The coffee

has done heating. Smoke

out of the window. It is us. Just.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ENEMIES

 

Beyond the reach of the body

– we insist.

 

Balance our submission,

coarse and delicate. Spoil

the thing to get closer

to the thing.

 

Afterwards

kneeling. Gentle. Ask

for the exception, beg to see

the sight seen only with eyes

closed.

 

Reciprocity

is a soft animal.

 

Attempting to satisfy,

your boastful display

of contempt.

 

Down the leaves.

Wet the dry. The way

takes only a moment.

 

We are sharper than words

and steeper.

 

 


ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR

is an Icelandic poet, publisher, and translator. She is founding director of the literary press Partus and co-founding editor of the poetry journal Pain. Her work has appeared online and in print in publications including The White Review, Granta, the Guardian, PN Review, Hotel, Carcanet’s New Poetries VII, and The Penguin Book of the Prose Poem. Her translations of the selected poems of Kristín Ómarsdóttir, Waitress in Fall, was selected as one of the best poetry books of 2018 by The Sunday Times.

 


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