On Longing

I have baptized you “Switch”,
Because you are so slender,
And because God wants to chastise me with you,
And because there is a longing in your motion
Like in the slender poplars in April.

I don’t know you — but one day
You will knock on my door during a storm,
And I will open at the knocking,
And my untamed breast will beat
At the same time
And knock upon your untamed breasts.

Then I will know you — your eyes shining like buds
And you will blossom, blossom, blossom!
And your young mind will bubble
Like whipped shrubs in a torrent
And you, as I, will have to brave God’s storm
Or break!

-Richard Dehmal
translated by Joe Bandel