by Gerda Krivaite | 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.