Landslide

I am her reflection, she is my reflection.
I was a tiny girl, held between two fingers.

I rolled out sheet music for automatic pianos,
through the holes pricked grass, through my

fingers the ridges slid. The air pushed me down,
the ground came up, she, she, she, was a whis-

perer. Later, a larger girl, I swallowed the
paper, piece, by body, by piece and she lifted

me with her hands, her rough hands, and she sang
out loud. I realised in this instant that I had al-

ways been here with her. Right from the start
when I popped out of the oven, just like this

*

Erdrutsch

Ich bin ihr Spiegelbild, sie ist mein Spiegelbild.
Ich war ein kleines Mädchen, gehalten zwischen zwei Fingern.

Ich entrollte die Lochstreifen für die Pianolas
durch die Löcher pikte Gras, durch meine

Finger glitten die Kanten. Die Luft drückte mich nach unten,
der Boden kam hoch, sie, sie, sie, war ein Flüst-

terer. Später, als größeres Mädchen, schluckte ich das
Papier, Stück, per Körper, per Stück und sie hob

mich mit ihren Händen, ihren rauen Händen, und sang
laut auf. Ich begriff in diesem Augenblick, dass ich im-

mer mit ihr hier gewesen war. Von Anfang an,
als ich aus dem Ofen heraus kam, einfach so

*

“Landslide” was first published in Turbine, A New Zealand Journal of New Writing.Translation into German by Dorothee Lang.

Emma Barnes is a poet from Christchurch and currently lives and writes in Aro Valley, Wellington. She’s released three editions of her magazine Enamel and is trying to understand what a book of poetry is so maybe she can write one. She has had poetry published in quite a few places including JAAM, Landfall, Catalyst and Best New Zealand Poems: “Passive Aggressive Letter to a John” in 2008 and “Milk For Money” in 2010. If you’re in Christchurch you can come see her read at the launch of Catalyst 9 on Tuesday the 7th of February.