I celebrate Loneliness, to the core:
a one-legged table,
a glass, burdened with ice while outwardly bleeding
and a vase seeking just a whiff of your lingering perfume.
I still celebrate Loneliness
wearing this storm-laced darkness.
I look out, but the windows mock me
and the wind makes me drunk.
I stagger with ice-cold anxiety
like music that has lost its purity.
I never tasted sweet friendship in my life,
not even when they crowded around me.
I remember the bitterness of cities,
the silliness of love
and the immensity of exile.
I use each cigarette to trace my lungs,
pain enters to devour them
and memories burst out in tears.
By Osama Al-Dhari
Translated into English by Babette Lichtenstein
from the German translation by Günther Orth
Read The German Riveter in its entirety here.
Find the books from The German Riveter on the Goethe-Institut page.
Osama Al-Dhari is a writer and author from Yemen. He is a founding member of Bayt ash-Shi’r al-Yamani (the Yemeni Poetry Foundation). He was recently awarded a fellowship by the Heinrich Böll Stiftung and is currently in residence at the Heinrich Böll House in Langenbroich, Germany.
Babette Lichtenstein was born in the Netherlands and studied music in Amsterdam and in London. After settling in the UK she worked as a professional cellist for many years. She has translated introductions to sheet music for a German publisher and is currently translating a Dutch novel.