by | February 23, 2022

Original: ‘Siuvinėjimas peilių sode’ by Ilzė Butkutė (Lithuanian)


I am woman – a window wide open,

Smothering bastard draughts with my hand.

With lips sealed I go bury one nightly

In the garden, then cut off a strand


Of my hair drenched in powerful fragrance

Of the palms never taught to caress,

Day by day the plaits only get shorter.

In the stables, the stallions press


On their lofty hind legs, having felt

Sleep approaching with arrows and bows,

Sternly led by the man with no face –

He’s allowed here, yet never bestowed


Upon me or the girls. So be it.

Sister, tighten my corset – you know

How I tend to lean out of the frame

To observe how my knives of draught grow


Inch by inch, how their razor-sharp blades

Slowly sprout, gently rise from the soil,

How they split the full moon into halves.

Even all-sensing dogs cannot spoil


Sleep’s unbridled and sudden attack.

Darling, please, would you pass me the case

With the needle and thread? I’d quite like

To sew arms onto dreams with white lace.


Words by Gerda Krivaite. Artwork by Aryan Goenka.