Denis Johnson

Denis Johnson
Denis Johnson 1949-2017

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Asters

Asters—sweltering days
old adjuration/curse,
the gods hold the balance
for an uncertain hour.

Once more the golden flocks
of heaven, the light, the trim—
what is the ancient process
hatching under its dying wings?

Once more the yearned-for,
the intoxication, the rose of you—
summer leaned in the doorway
watching the swallows—

one more presentiment
where certainty is not hard to come by:
wing tips brush the face of the waters,
swallows sip speed and night.

Gottfried Benn

Translated from the German by Michael Hofmann

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