Queen Louise

by Sari Arent

Louise is drilling through the wind as a projectile. Feet on asphalt in Copenhagen – it could be frozen mud or concrete tiles, the cold gives everything the same unforgiving surface.

Hard plastic surfaces under Louise’s hands as she jumps on bus 5A to get faster from A to B, maybe even all the way to Å or further yet to an unknown alphabet. Hard as the expression in the eyes of the unknown woman that Louise passes at Dybbølsbro station. Blue iris, her hair an artificial red, strong perfume, a hotdog moves into her mouth. The smell of onion and hot meat is drowned out by the sound of The Trumpet on the corner to Skelbækgade. Normally The Trumpet lives by the Central Station, but just as Louise it is on the run, pushed forward by the wind of Copenhagen. The Trumpet creates a sense of jazz that curls up at each end of a vibrant note sequence. Something like this: complaining major notes replace each other for a few seconds and finishes with the notes “E-G-C” in quick succession. (Break). Complaining major notes and another vibrant passage. Complaining, elongated cheerfulness.

Her stomach is in knots as she passes Kødbyen. The aspiring child musicians live here. The music is a murmur of pain in Louise’s bloodstream, but she can’t open her mouth and let her poison seep out. The poison attracts Therese.

Burned out. Like the cigarette a young hipster guy crushes under his foot on the bricks of the town hall square. Louise’s knees feel crushed after the run, but there is a petrol in her body that she has to burn, otherwise it will poison her from the inside. So she runs through the lingering smog from an idle car in front of Politikens bookshop. Through the window she sees people staring at black characters, hearing strange voices in their heads.

Queen Louise’s bridge. From here she can see her kingdom of twinkling dusk lights. Like colored beads of frost. They melt in the morning when the day has passed, when its possibilities have shrunk into a pond of childhood dreams, running into the sink and down the drain. Copenhagen, a city of water: drifting within the artificial borders of Søerne, The Lakes. She drifts around on Queen Louise’s bridge – right or left, shopping in the city centre or wafting around on Nørrebro to the sound of beeps from pedestrian crossings, mouth filled with a taste of kebab. The taste of freedom freezing to her palate in a wannabe-tornado-wind. From here she sees the big picture, from here she rules.


[Sari Arent (1993) is Danish and has lived in Copenhagen for the most of her life. Currently living and studying in Paris, she spends her free time soaking up the atmosphere of the city, letting it inspire her writing.

Sari has a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature from the University of Copenhagen. In Copenhagen she has been the organizer of numerous literary events and workshops and has edited, along with Sofie Boysen and Simone Lindquist, the short story collection Glimt fra tiden der var os (2017, Håbefulde Unge Forfattere).]