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Mein Liebchen, Was Willst Du Noch Mehr?

ISSUE:  Autumn 1978

Arrows dash down the wall.
Time crawls like a cockroach.
Wait, don’t toss the plates,
beat the alarm, smash the glasses!

In our wooden dacha
anything could happen.
Lightning didn’t strike—
why cross yourself?

The lightning might have cropped
the damp cabin, the puppies
been abandoned and rain
buckshotted the wing.

We dub the forest our porch,
the spruce-bound moon our stove.
Drying, the storm mumbles,
like a freshly washed apron.

And when the whirlwind,
grief, storms the well,
the thunder claps for

The year guttered in kerosene
like a gnat trapped in a lamp,
and got up, a gray-blue star,
sluggish and wet.

Old, tremulous, fretful,
it peeks into the window’s parenthesis,
moistening the pillow where
it will bury its tears.

How can we cheer up a grump
who never laughs, or draw out
the sorrow that goes unheard
by a summer in oblivion?

The forest is all draped in lead.
Burdock, graying, burst into sobs.
Your beauty, like the day’s,
rests in fitfulness.

Why is the old grump crying?
Did he glimpse another’s joy?
Do village sunflowers sulk
under the dust and rain?


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