Jennifer Rostock U.S.
Tier in Dir

The moment lies ice-cold in the air
And creeps up on you
The small beast sits on your shoulder
And hisses obscenities into your ear
It gasps and pants and it makes you sick
In the end, you spur the horse
You hold the reins with style, sure
But you’ve already lost the game often enough

And everything stays as it is, and everything stays

Stick your hand into my pocket
And look for the animal inside me, look for the animal inside me
Until you wake up in cold ash
It’s the animal inside you, it’s the animal inside you

Cold spit on your chest
Freezes on sorely-loved skin
You piss my name into the snow

Even though you know it’ll melt in the morning
The army of oxytocin in your blood
Salutes again
And your discipline dangles again
On a rope of hormonal anger

And everything stays as it is, and everything stays

Stick your hand into my pocket …

Hold me for a moment and then your distance
We’ll whisper sweet nothings sterilely behind this pink cardboard wall
And you only just reach the next yard
In your arms, the child was dead

Stick your hand into my pocket …


*”And you only just … the child was dead” appears to take from the poem ‘Der Erlkönig’ (‘The Elf King’) by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe; the specific portion is as follows:

Erreicht den Hof mit Mühe und Not;
In seinen Armen das Kind war tot.

A translation by Edwin Zeydel:

Reaches the court with toil and dread. –
The child he held in his arms was dead.