they take off their clothes
take off their shoes
remove jewelry and watches
strip to bare skin

they strip further
stroking with their hands
they take off their professions,
their names and habits
with patient kisses
they strip off their past loves,
their expectations
with small bits their age, their lust
with their mouths
they strip off each other’s sex

they take off their childhood
(this takes the longest time)
mother father they wash off
by hugging by rubbing
flesh against flesh
the juice pours out

they reach the dark
never named before
give it names from the past
forgetting them
caught in the fire

they strip further
through crying
moaning, screaming
to the nameless
beyond birth

naked they are

translated by Barbara Siegel Carlson

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