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All Birds Know This, edited by Astrīde Ivaska and Māra Rūmniece, Tapals, 2001.






Ronalds Briedis

Pēteris Zirnītis





Sequence of Events


the cadaverous post-war cows are out
in the remembered pastures of the nation
that are full of splinters and exploded hearts
but let us keep a cool facade at least
for joy has been milked and downed
the unwashed glass under the rusted tap
will collect the agonizing memories of tomorrow
of today's parched throats
and the naive anticipation of someone
who will come and put a full stop to us all:
a sprightly Afghani with a tarnished ring in his ear
separates from the muttering crowd
and with a professional movement
puts a silencer on his gun
so as not to disturb the lovers in the pile of rotting leaves


Translated by Ieva Lešinska