Sven Kretzschmar

Fading light
(for Tamara)

After the closed hotel, a reception desk
imagined behind dark glass doors,
and supermarket shelves stacked with whisky
and local brews, after a change
of sweat-soaked clothes in a car on a public parking lot
while everyone rushed away from their workplace
toward homes in a city I would not stay in

this time around, I met you, half-hid
behind concrete-framed greening chatting with some
acquaintance, on a public plaza named after
a beatified one who died of leprosy.
There were smiles and joy and broken language
and the idea of making friends during a pandemic,
fatty dishes and talk of industrial action.

All the while we were part of some busker’s tune,
unaware of music falling out of an umbrella canopy
over a pedestrian alley, in ample morsels
onto our plates. And we parted light-hearted
in heated-up air. And somewhere on a road
between un-scythed fields and fading light
a sundown behind a stripe of clouds in my lens.

Much to ask
We only want the earth
only as long as we‘re here –
we, the human race. Not just
any earth; a clean one, good
one with water to drink
and air to breath. Atoxic. Enjoyable.
An earth on which Alaska’s Spencer
wouldn’t calve, as that is
only for animals; children play
in woodlands, swimmers
in the ocean,
and no illegal landfill in sight,
just the usual trees and shrubbery,
insects and seawater to test
our bodies’ defences. It does not sound
like too much to ask when we say:
only the earth; not the parched, burnt
piece of lignite soon left of it.
We only want the earth;
as long as we can have it,
there’ll be room for you too.