In The City, Quarantine

By Marius Burokas

Translated from Lithuanian by Rimas Uzgiris


In the city, quarantine
and grief. everyone
waits for the snow.

on the facades, and
in the streets –
an indelible hideousness.

witches have multiplied.
they publish polished
about themselves.

shamans in the gateways
shine amulets,
whose spells
have gone stale.

Belarus, Poland –
burning fences

overturned trucks
with contraband
of winter.

meat is sold
by the road,
virtually free.

animals have emigrated,
along with the connoisseurs
of sacred script,
and any woman
who could walk.

only men
with fishing poles
and flags,
in their bosoms –

in one square,
so that it would be easier
to take them up
into heaven
and lock them up
until they sober.

in the window
of the facing house,
in the kitchen,
a light burns.

naked death
rummages through
the refrigerator.

it’s her
yellow jackboots
that shine
when she walks
the streets.

she notices me
and nods.

see you soon.
            Translation of “Mieste kvarantinas…” 

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