IPNHK 2011 contributor Silke Scheuermann (Germany) was born in 1973. She studied Drama and Literature in Frankfurt, Leipzig and Paris. Her poems, short stories and novels have been translated into various languages and have been awarded with numerous grants and awards. She received the prestigious Leonce-und-Lena-Preis in 2001 for her debut collection Der Tag an dem die Möwen zweistimmig sangen (The Day on which the Sea Gulls Sang in Two Parts). She was quickly recognised as the promising talent of the young generation of German writers. Alongside her collections of poetry Der zärtlichste Punkt im All (The Most Tender Place in the Universe) in 2004 and Über Nacht ist es Winter (Winter has Come Overnight) in 2007, she has also published the collection of short stories Reiche Mädchen (Rich Girls, 2005), the much-praised novel Die Stunde zwischen Hund und Wolf (The Hour between Dog and Wolf, 2007) and the more recent novel Shanghai Performance in 2011.
Distance and a Certain Light
we stood between the candle and the stars
decided no matter how great love might be
we wouldn’t let the night have everything—not today.
sleep would turn us in its hands
one after the other. but first we listened to the same concert
left and right of the stereo
stared straight into the darkness so intently
that at any second our pulses might have begun racing
and we would fly—
really and truly fly—
right into a mirror
that wouldn’t shatter into tiny pieces
(Translated from German by Birgit Linder)