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For more Poetry from Lithuania

Laurynas Katkus


Translated by Shawn Kerry KeysKerry Shawn Keys


Later On

...later, Autumn. We walked into the avenue.
A sudden gust of freshness: chests relaxed,
briefcases lighter. The hearts of cars were beating
faster than ours. A small, bearable dose
of anarchy.
Later, we moved toward the pure grocery
of the universe. Robertas suggested his place.
We disappeared into large armchairs,
intoxicated without even drinking yet, outrageous
with our joking, suddenly not recognizing
each other. Later the alcohol swam
in our brains.
We were smoking cheap cigars and seeing who
could howl the longest, no cheating—
to waken the dark yard, stir up the natural forces,
overcome the phobia of squares, the Fabijoniskes syndrome
I saw drops of sweat on your forehead,
and the neighbor who died yesterday
knocked at the door.
It snowed in the TV. Some folks were gone.
Laughter hoarsened. Guzas fell asleep in his armchair.
At the cockcrow of the polar dawn,
I put my arms around you and whispered:
if we don't start everything anew,
Sophia, we are lost.


Zverynas In Winter

Darkness strikes suddenly
like lightning strikes the chosen ones,
and whispers: don't fight; give up; calm down...
Shadows sneak into the house across the street,
melting into the bluish blaze of the TV screens.
A blind cyclone tosses between
the roof and the dream.
The sun's rays reach out stronger and stronger.
They draw open the curtains, and the newborn,
fleecy snow astonishes my eyes. This sparkle, tearing the body apart,
speechless, and for a moment...myself.


Along the market road

Along the market road, one can see far and wide:
Craftsman hurrying, soldiers, women
From the island, peasants leading slow,
One-horned oxen. Myself, a sack clinging to the squeaking gate,
Talking about summmer, the meaninglessness of all of this
The yellow ocher of the sun. The wind.