Ljubov to the City
I roll myself up on the ground and purr like a cat.
I miss you. Stop.
You thought of me for a moment yesterday and I felt it; from now on, there’ll always be this link between us, whether or not you believe in that sort of thing.
I walked across the ocean to you and lodged myself in someone’s head, I didn’t care whose. I felt so unwanted, I thought, I’ll plant myself where somebody wants me. Stop.
I send you messages that don’t reach you and my feet are cracking up because I can feel that you don’t care what happens to me, even if you say you do. You say you talk to me in your head and in your thoughts and in your belly, but you scraped me out, so what are you talking to? The scratches on your insides?
I’d like to have gone a little way with you. I like your hair. I’d like to have had the same hair.
And I’d like you to have taken me to the park where there’s no playground, only dogshit. You’d have strapped me on your back, not in a buggy, because you’d have read somewhere that it’s better for babies to be kept close to your body, not pushed away from you, and I’d have dribbled on your shoulder and you’d have smiled and wouldn’t have sent me to kindergarten because they’re not to be trusted and you’d have got into arguments with my teachers because they’re all arseholes and you’d have chucked out my first boyfriend for smelling of vodka and you’d have screamed at me—did I want to make the same mistakes as you—and I’d have run to my room and slammed the door behind me and stayed there for days, hiding under my desk, smoking grass, and eventually you’d have come in with something to eat, you’d have crawled under the desk to me and taken a drag on my joint and forced me to eat and I’d have gone on marches, which you’d have thought childish, and ended up at the police station, which you’d have thought great, because it would have given you another enemy to defend your young against, and you’d have been charged with insulting the law and whatever else and I’d have had the feeling I was still hanging round your neck, still dribbling on your shoulder and I think you’d have liked that.
I’m leaving your city and heading abroad, heading skywards, heading for the New World. I’m leaving you all behind in your cold, rude, grey, depressed, self-righteous city that hasn’t been poor and sexy for a long time, only stupid and lonely—the city where you fuck and drink and think you’re feeling Weltschmerz when actually it’s only the empty spasms of a life you’ll never live.
Stop. I’m leaving the lot of you now, packing my shoes in my mouth and flying away. You can go on tearing your hair out and telling yourselves this is the best moment in history.
Photos: Ute Langkafel / MAIFOTO | Poster: Esra Rotthoff
Tr. Imogen Taylor