Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Carmien Michels

Bed

The bed in which we don’t fit
forces us to lie down
so that we meet the frame

Arm flattened beneath torso
neck pressed against headboard
toes folded in lotus position

Where buttock spills from bed
or shoulder blade reaches the edge
the bed calls pitilessly
for the precision saw

Excess skin fat bones
flop on top of intercepted thoughts
and trimmed labia

Don’t think that when
we leave the bed we can just
put them on again
like clothes
forgotten in the pub

What once fitted like a glove
suppurates in our conscience
there where we betrayed
the bed in its most intimate springs

Phantom pain in places
where we chose limbs
over membership
peeing is no longer the same

Polish our bodies
scrub our insides
cut deserters out of our lexicon

We want to be the mattress
the hardcore base of this civilised bed
which we worship above all else

Bed

Bed

Dit bed waarin we niet passen
dwingt ons te gaan liggen
zodat we aan het frame voldoen

Arm geplet onder de romp
nek geperst tegen het hoofdeind
tenen gevouwen in lotusstand

Waar bil het bed te buiten gaat
of schouderblad de rand bereikt
roept het bed onverbiddelijk
de fijnzaag

Overtollige huid vet bot
ploffen boven op onderschepte gedachten
en versneden schaamlippen

Denk maar niet dat we ze zomaar
wanneer we het bed verlaten
opnieuw kunnen aanpassen
als kledingstukken
vergeten in de kroeg

Wat ooit als gegoten zat
ettert in ons geweten
daar waar we het bed
verraadden in zijn intiemste veren

Spookpijn op plaatsen
waar we ledematen verkozen
boven lidmaatschap
plassen nooit meer hetzelfde

Schaaf onze lijven bij
boen ons binnenwerk
snijd deserteren uit onze woordenschat

Wij willen de matras zijn
bloed en bodem van dit beschaafde bed
dat we bovenal aanbidden
Close

Bed

The bed in which we don’t fit
forces us to lie down
so that we meet the frame

Arm flattened beneath torso
neck pressed against headboard
toes folded in lotus position

Where buttock spills from bed
or shoulder blade reaches the edge
the bed calls pitilessly
for the precision saw

Excess skin fat bones
flop on top of intercepted thoughts
and trimmed labia

Don’t think that when
we leave the bed we can just
put them on again
like clothes
forgotten in the pub

What once fitted like a glove
suppurates in our conscience
there where we betrayed
the bed in its most intimate springs

Phantom pain in places
where we chose limbs
over membership
peeing is no longer the same

Polish our bodies
scrub our insides
cut deserters out of our lexicon

We want to be the mattress
the hardcore base of this civilised bed
which we worship above all else

Bed

The bed in which we don’t fit
forces us to lie down
so that we meet the frame

Arm flattened beneath torso
neck pressed against headboard
toes folded in lotus position

Where buttock spills from bed
or shoulder blade reaches the edge
the bed calls pitilessly
for the precision saw

Excess skin fat bones
flop on top of intercepted thoughts
and trimmed labia

Don’t think that when
we leave the bed we can just
put them on again
like clothes
forgotten in the pub

What once fitted like a glove
suppurates in our conscience
there where we betrayed
the bed in its most intimate springs

Phantom pain in places
where we chose limbs
over membership
peeing is no longer the same

Polish our bodies
scrub our insides
cut deserters out of our lexicon

We want to be the mattress
the hardcore base of this civilised bed
which we worship above all else
Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère