Kristine Steddum


We try to push forward,

Word by word,
like one stone upon another.

In truth?

We move as a bird
migrates south for winter.
Untranslatable flight.

Some importance
is always lost.


Kafka’s Metamorphosis

Gregor never expected
to awaken transformed
into a detestable creature.

Nothing happens overnight.

How change creeps in,
like a spider through a splinter
in the wall, unimaginable at all,
until the arachnid becomes you.

Until there is no memory
of what preceded the dream
and the awakening.



Once, a vulture 
landed on my tongue,
searching for death—
	He stayed a while,
		then, left.

Afraid he would return,
I shut my mouth.

I long to speak
an ancient language
	void of feathers
		and bones.

A language of the earth,
A translation of the ocean.