confers with himself
Then the doorbell rings
Then a lightning bolt
In Dad’s room
the weather is at home
At times one felt
it would be dreadful and meaningful
Of course there’s that letter to the father
it says in so many words the tree is already green
he makes our air by taking water and light
and it is something—breathtaking
Won’t you come and behold the icy deadness?
You can barely reveal yourself once a day
Translated by Mary Jo Bang
Mary Jo Bang is the author of eight books of poems—including A Doll For Throwing, Louise in Love, The Last Two Seconds, and Elegy, which received the National Book Critics Circle Award—and a translation of Dante’s Inferno, illustrated by Henrik Drescher. She has received a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Berlin Prize Fellowship. She teaches creative writing at Washington University in St. Louis.
Matthias Göritz is the author of three volumes of poetry, two novellas and three novels—including Der kurze Traum des Jakob Voss (The Short Dream of Jakob Voss), 2005, winner of the Hamburg Literature Prize, Radio Bavaria Prize, and the Mara Cassens Prize—in German. He currently teaches in the Comp Lit Department at Washington University in St. Louis.