Translated from the German by Carlie Hoffman
Murky puddles mirror light,
yellow and greasy, heavy with dirt.
Brightly-lit windows are useless now.
Doorways echo emptiness.
Fog lies tired in the streets,
the rain pours and pours. People
are too sad to hate each other,
and somewhere, a child coughing.
Rotting leaves litter the gardens,
benches stand, dismal, damp and gray,
the sun comes less and less, and late,
the moon, stingy in its shining.
Daylight barely cuts through fog,
Exhausted, the guard toys with his saber
and a wet bird tremors wildly.
Skeletal horses steam hungrily
in mist, their weighted eyes.
Their oats soaked
and scattered in mud.
A drenched cat lurks
along the moldy wall.
With his collar raised, a farmer looks
at his money to see if he’s broke.
Carlie Hoffman reads “Grief”
Carlie Hoffman’s debut poetry collection is This Alaska (Four Way Books, 2021). Her second collection is forthcoming with Four Way Books in 2023. A poet and translator, her honors include a 92Y Discovery Poetry Prize and a Poets & Writers Amy Award. She is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at Purchase College, SUNY and the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Small Orange Journal.