Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Eva Gerlach

SOMEONE, 5

Someone coughs in the other house
and along with his cough the blackbird beneath my window
has started off on the puzzle of being
different and being the same.
Someone spits out death, gets up, turns on a tap, coughs
and I see you bend over now you wash yourself armpit
after armpit foot after foot, pull back foreskin, spread toes, flip your ears. 

How being is about nothing but
being, preserving your breath the length of a cough,
of a song just as I here at the washbasin
with all that’s inside me, just as I world and all
that therein is dishevelled just as the hair on your head
in my hands now you turn to me now I preserve you

IEMAND, 5

IEMAND, 5

Iemand hoest in het andere huis
en tegelijk met zijn hoest is onder mijn raam
de merel begonnen over het raadsel van anders
te zijn en dezelfde te zijn.
Iemand spuugt dood uit, staat op, laat een kraan lopen, hoest
en ik zie je bukken nu je je oksel voor oksel
voet voor voet wast, in elk vel dat ooit op je zat
voorhuid terugduwt, tenen spreidt, oorschelpen omklapt.

Hoe zijn niet gaat over iets
dan er zijn, je adem een hoest lang een lied
lang bewaren zoals ik je vasthoud hier bij de wasbak
met alles wat in me zoals ik de wereld en alles
wat daarin is door elkaar als het haar op je hoofd
in mijn handen zolang ik hart je bewaar.

Close

SOMEONE, 5

Someone coughs in the other house
and along with his cough the blackbird beneath my window
has started off on the puzzle of being
different and being the same.
Someone spits out death, gets up, turns on a tap, coughs
and I see you bend over now you wash yourself armpit
after armpit foot after foot, pull back foreskin, spread toes, flip your ears. 

How being is about nothing but
being, preserving your breath the length of a cough,
of a song just as I here at the washbasin
with all that’s inside me, just as I world and all
that therein is dishevelled just as the hair on your head
in my hands now you turn to me now I preserve you

SOMEONE, 5

Someone coughs in the other house
and along with his cough the blackbird beneath my window
has started off on the puzzle of being
different and being the same.
Someone spits out death, gets up, turns on a tap, coughs
and I see you bend over now you wash yourself armpit
after armpit foot after foot, pull back foreskin, spread toes, flip your ears. 

How being is about nothing but
being, preserving your breath the length of a cough,
of a song just as I here at the washbasin
with all that’s inside me, just as I world and all
that therein is dishevelled just as the hair on your head
in my hands now you turn to me now I preserve you

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