To the Barbarian

We present this work in honor of the poet’s 150th birthday.

Else Lasker-Schüler
1869 – 1945


I spend my nights asleep
Upon your face.

In the steppe of your body
I plant cedar and almond trees.

Tirelessly I search your chest
For Pharao’s golden pleasures.

But your lips are heavy, and
My miracles cannot deliver them.

Please lift your snowy skies
Off my soul –

Your diamond dreams
Slice through my veins.

I am Joseph, I wear a sweet belt
Around my many-colored skin.

The frightened thunder in my shells
Is bliss to you.

But your heart is closed to oceans.
Oh you!

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