Latvian Feature

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Inga Gaile

Inga Gaile

When it's lunch break in all the churches, you still have sky's wrinkled cheeks and the
webprints of swans in the clouds, same ones that will give us down bedding.
When the fog and the dark cover the bridges, you still have the hands that see
everything and the whisper that finds its way over water when the sun flies away with
the swans.
When it's lunch break in all the churches, you still have sky's wrinkled cheeks and the
moment before darkness when the heart breaks and snow sparkles over the city.

* * *

the tram of winter's last thaw-freeze clangs by
morning's whistle scatters the bats of the shadowy dark
someone recalls a dream about kissing red flames
but the day is nude, underfoot the crunch of departing sleep.

I awaken open my eyes unrein all words,
like a vat filled with beans time spills out before us
memory tucks in the night and caulks over the fear
the first tram jangles by,
city's bright tear.
sorrow and a flickering thought
find refuge some place dark,
a flickering thought about friends
who ache over land-going ships.

through the sea rustle in the wheels of streetcars, through people's green voices
warmth breaks through and strokes the heads of snowmen and snowwomen carrying
yokes with buckets, the shiny metal of clouds filled with trout with salmon the
confusion in pupils of eyes comes through the lips like a squeak and the glance
unfurls upward like a reckless red scarf
confusion — silence of the universe
spring unhinged line up for smelt tinged with gold but don't think that the marches of
your flaming glances will be forgotten, the sky breathes sun deliciously idle,
lusciously as if from a pipe blows out clouds of down fiddles fribbles and dabbles
tickling the buds on trees the old geezers

Translated by Ieva Lešinska