maybe this thought will help us by Carl-Christian Elze, translated by Caroline Wilcox Reul

maybe this thought will help us: we were never
separated and can never be separated .. everything in this world
in this universe: white dwarfs and snow,
space fog and trees, egg cups and sheep
bacteria and cars, toilet seats and people,
and don’t forget: dogs – everything that our pupils
take in and bake up according to the recipe for optical refraction
visual purple in an endless cycle of disintegration and
everything that our sight-chefs set down for us
in the fast-food restaurant of our consciousness – are visions
visual formations of the same molecules: stardust
at times loosely, at times more densely packed, garnished with
metallic paint, or pelt, or crust, or skin
we have never been separated and never will be
even this thought is made from the same molecules
as both your past and future
floating imaginary corpse –
Carl-Christian Elze was born in 1974 in Berlin and currently lives in Leipzig. He studied biology and German studies at the University of Leipzig, and later creative writing at the Deutsche Literaturinstitut Leipzig. He writes poems, short stories and libretti and currently runs a series of readings in Leipzig called niemerlang. From 2002 until 2009 was an editor for the literary journal plumbum. He has won many prizes, grants and residencies for his work including the Lyrikpreis München in 2010, Joachim-Ringelnatz-Förderpreis in 2015 and most recently a residency at the Deutsche Studienzentrum in Venedig. His fifth book, diese kleinen, in der luft hängenden, bergpredigenden gebilde, was published in 2016.

Caroline Wilcox Reul is a freelance lexicographer and translator. She has a MA in computational linguistics and German language and literature from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich. Her translation of Wer lebt/Who Lives by Elisabeth Borchers was published by Tavern Books in May of 2017. The Broadsided Press published a bilingual broadside of Borchers’ Der Schweigsame/The Silent One in 2016, and her translation of a poem by Carl-Christian Elze is forthcoming in the 2018 issue of Poetry International.