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being a dog

by Ulrike Almut Sandig
Translated from German by
Bradley Schmidt

being a dog: but always being there for someone and always
being cherished and be good to someone who scratches. not
always loving being a dog, preferring to be a polar bear,
ball lightning, moon over soho, vacuum over raw meat,
but also being a human: eating at the table and talking
while eating, being someone and liking eating but till
then also enjoying going along outside, but just on a
leash, grudgingly if it’s going to be outside, but then
smelling everything, trash cans or little marie’s melted
ice cream or iron manholes or peed-on lollipops or
a hole in the ground in the front yard, dug just for that,
really loving smelling everything. being good but just
being a dog. liking spending the late illuminated, over
heated evenings on pillows, killing time and not

knowing: everything shall be over tomorrow. dozing
thinking once more on those who scratch and say: oh
good boy, you little guy, you minx, coffin nail: my dog.

Born in Großenhain, Germany, in 1979, Ulrike Almut Sandig started publishing her poetry by pasting it on construction fences. She has published three volumes of poetry, a story collection, and two audiobooks of poetry and pop music. Her second story collection, Buch gegen das Verschwinden (The Book against Disappearance), was published in 2015. Her poems have been translated into many languages, including the chapbook Missing Witness (Ugly Duckling Presse). Sandig lives with her family in Berlin.
Bradley Schmidt grew up in rural Kansas, where he studied German literature before moving to Germany. He is based in Leipzig, working as a freelance translator and editor, as well as teaching translation and writing classes at Leipzig University. His translation of Lea Schneider’s Invasion in Reverse received an honorable mention for the 2019 Cliff Becker Book Prize in Translation. He is coeditor at No Man’s Land.