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Voices, scored into

the waters' green.

When the kingfisher dives,

the split second whirs:

What stood by you

appears on every shore

mown down

into another image.

* * *

Voices from the nettles:

Come to us on your hands.

All you can read, alone

with a lamp, is your palm.

* * *

Voices, night-knotted, ropes

on which you hang your bell.

Dome yourself over, world:

when death's shell washes up on shore

a bell will want to ring.

* * *

Voices that make your heart

recoil into your mother's.

Voices from the hanging tree

where old growth and young growth

exchange rings.

* * *

Voices, guttural, amid the debris,

where even infinity shovels,

runnels of

(cardio-) slime.

Launch here the boats I manned,

my son.

Amidships, when an evil wind takes charge,

the clamps and brackets close.

Jacob's voice:

The tears.

Tears in the eye of my brother.

One clung. It grew.

We live in there.

Now, breathe -

so it may

fall.

* * *

Voices inside the ark:

Only

the mouths

were saved. Hear us,

o sinking things.

* * *

No

voice -

late noise, stranger to the hour,

gift to your thoughts, born of

wakefulness here in the final

account: a

carpel, large as an eye, and deeply

scored: bleeds

sap, and won't

heal over.

Voices, scored into

Nikolai Popov & Heather McHugh, translation from
the German written by Paul Celan

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