They are telling the stories, but she is not part of them.
She’s such a little girl!
She runs to and fro, increasingly anxious,
looking for a door that will let her into their stories,
but there is no such door,
and the story-tellers don’t mention her at all, not one of them.

Of course, they don’t notice her, the little girl,
even though she wears a dress of lavender silk
and bling-bling many hours in mirrors turning
and gleaming. They are far too busy with their stories:
and then the crocodiles and but he was very handsome;
I won’t forgive her, never!; Autumn. Rain. The end of hope
and so on.

It reminds me of a game of musical chairs:
everyone else rushing to sit straight down,
but she’s confused, and dashes frantically round
this way and that, while each of the chairs
in a moment is taken.

And I fear for her, I must admit.
The doors to every story are slyly closed
like mice tails slipping away into secret holes.
She is forgotten. The others, they don’t care:
their stories make them unaware,
they are enraptured by the telling;
and some of the stories are terribly beautiful,
after all.

Now comes the silence of the months of snow.
Rats holding their summit in the House of Change:
the key behind the brick, names like Pasha and Yuri,
a sinister tailor making clothes of graves.
Wits, duels, deals. A poverty of incident,
a wealth of details. Now rises the forest:
now inflate the bodies of the flaccid wolves
to take on howls: now congregate
the masses, the fashionistas, the backcloth crowds.
Now signs the genius an entire era.
Opinions pour down like important rain.
Now rise the prophets and the seas.
Now rush the hunters to their prey;
now fade the footprints by the shore.
Now comes the jungle creeping back:
monkeys crawling over the lost jet plane.
Now comes your pleasure; now, your pain.
Now, out stretches the corridor I walk down
with all I remember, and all I forget, and all I know.
Now the snug building grows warmer,
the fire much brighter, the laughter so gay,
the schnapps sweet and torte, the stories so tall,
the outside more distant, their sounds so muffled,
they fade first to echoes, then to no sounds at all.
Now you approach me, and I approach you.
Now we have met, where will we go?
Now, in the silence of the months of snow?

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