Poetry The Filth issue

[The social condition as a shimmering veil for you…]

By Kristofer Folkhammar

Translated from the Swedish by Christian Gullette
A hand pressed against fabric
Photograph by Joshua Hoehne

The social condition as a shimmering veil for you
through the night, the red lights, the white sheer tip. Sounds of
a Western European city. K kisses me in the entrance to
the porn cinema
Screens, bath, piss
For what it’s worth, don’t say your love is killing me. It
was a night when we realized that we were deeply in love. We wrote
each other’s names on scented paper and called everyone we knew
and said that we had been together
He combed my hair
The blond guy watched us in the mirror while he jerked off,
took us to a private room with wallpaper. It
was thick wallpaper, not porous like wallpaper
usually is, but tense and stiff, resisted tearing.
Everyone was in that room. They stood
around a bathtub and pissed on a giggling bastard who let
rank, yellow urine run down his shoulders and stomach, who stayed
there until we got to know him. The bathtub filled like everything
else, fluid filtered and shit into their bodies that
caused a flood we could all ride out into the night


To read this poem in Swedish, click here.
Kristofer Folkhammar is a poet and novelist who lives in Malmö, Sweden. His most recent novel is Är det barnen, baby? .
Christian Gullette’s translations of Folkhammar’s poems have appeared in Asymptote and Words without Borders.