The Poetry Project

Two Poems

Uljana Wolf, translated by Sophie Seita

dust bunnies vs wool mice

we wanted to speak about little animals, to get on our knees for the little beasts, those made of
dust and gooey fuzzle, in floorboards and cracks, shivering in grey coats, our animals made of thin
air. we wanted to whisper very closely in your language and inside mine, tell me darling, did you
vacuum today. no, we didn’t wish to alarm our creatures, little like spots, are they spots, don’t they
have pompom tails, bunny ears, or bunny tails, tom-tom ears, didn’t we want to smoke less, cough
less, be less either or. yesterday the room’s nook was lonely in its dreary croak. today it’s a hoard, for
tender hordes, un pont, we want, so let’s be quiet, let’s eavesdrop on our knees: our little creatures,
how they swap their fluffy, moon-grey names.

'can you show me on se mappe'

we wanted to lean over this phrase like a charted city, to make a point, create a mouthspace, myth
of hear or say: hier, in this net of tongues, one path was well-sprung, a mistake, mystique. lingua
franca stuck on our foreheads, almost touching and already legend: you are here, ich bin wer, a
game of routes, but whatever we said the words did not arrive. instead the red lines snapped, rolling
back into their very own names: murmuring with the greek one, chartis, carta with the italian, and
karte with me, meaning my card: looks like we’re here. almost true freunde. and so we found, with
the wrong sign, our site, and the rest of the city we folded, in the manner of this country, as they say,
into maps.

Originally published in the poetry collection “falsche freunde”, kookbooks Berlin 2009

Issue 12