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  • Hannah Liberman


Updated: Sep 4, 2021

After László Krasznahorkai.

“I would leave everything here:” stillness, mayhem, silence like a shroud, torn first by the dawn stirring of magpies, I would leave here daybreak, raw and arid, dim and deep, uninhabited, windows bare and cavernous, I would leave here the moon, watched through the mesh until eyelids slip into slumber, the morning, sun dissolving warm on mouth and nose, thawing into the crumpled sheets stained and reeking of the lavender oil spilled in the dresser’s top drawer years ago, here, Mom will already be making coffee, Papa reading the newspaper, Brother snoring or on his way to school, here, I would leave them each, I would leave here the neighbor’s sputtering truck and his daughter’s wailing, breathlessness, the shuddering silhouette of the pines printed on the colorless walls, bare save for these forest shadows, I would leave here dusk, hushed and quick and golden, muddled, the unknown, the expectation, the disillusionment, a wind that blows from one gaping window through the other, abandoning the perfume of mud and sap somewhere in between, desolation, wonder, coiled asphalt roads crawling to dirt, lacing through light-soaked mountains and tired streams, here there is smoke among ashen trees, ablaze, tumbling, I would leave here time, the seasons and years, ravines, rage, tender reverie, flaxen leaves and a naked sky, terror, an un-slept in bed and loosely lended intimacy, here, I would leave change, naivety, nostalgia, young and rushing limbs, longing, lunacy, the whiff of garlic on the stove, the shades of grass under the clouds, Mom, humming emptily as she lugs grocery bags in from the car, Brother, eyes sunken, lungs heaving at an otherworldly pace, words he does not understand trickling off his tongue, Papa, forehead propped in his long fingers, glasses slipping down a tired face, lenses hazy, hope, Mom’s restless nights, Brother’s aching, Papa’s sorrow, our elation, desperation, defeat, I would leave here a man I do not know, a man I love, a voice that falters, breaks, then disappears, a voice that carries, I would leave here infatuation, lust fallen astray, flailing arms and thunderous smiles, I would leave here remorse, lost dignity, and grief, I would leave here joy, despair, regret, inevitability, love, pain, and perpetuity—stillness—“for here I would leave this earth and these stars, because I would take nothing with me from here, because I’ve looked into what’s coming, and I don’t need anything from here.”

—Hannah Liberman


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