Skate

cloaca or clown
punch, punch,
what are you doing down there?
at the beginning was everything really
a cesspool? skates with penises
you didn’t reckon with that
copulating cartilaginous fish, for real
if worse comes to worse, they can even do
parthenogenesis, no male skates
in sight and when one comes he makes
the skate woman think
babies with him? no thanks

anchor in the other
why, actually?
have no fear, evolution! diversity
is mandatory, not just
one direction, one position
hovering over the ground, doggy
ok it sounds funny for fish, I admit

they are viviparous, on pillows or none
this they cannot choose
but both is possible

a stinger like that, reinforced with calcium salts
me, jealous? oh well
it is calming to know everything exists
cow noses, eagles and the manta
guitars, fiddles, saws and devils
moths, torpedoes and quivers
the party has begun
with whiskey in the jar

Poem by Sabine Scho
Translated from the German by the poet Ann Cotton
Illustrations by Andreas Töpfer

– taken from the magazine “The Origin of Senses,” Berlin 2015.