Sunday, September 30, 2012

Summer by the Ravine By Artis Ostups, translated from the Latvian by Ieva Lešinska and Tom Pow

“Even more light,” you say, standing in the window’s green rectangle. Soundlessly, the wind blows into the birds’ sails, the fog sinks into the ravine like a leaky boat. When I hide my head under the pillow I seem to hear all the alarm clocks in the village: my morning is also the morning of the butcher and the Chairman, our sun rises with an anxious squealing, the world is born on the clock face, streets roll out from the seconds, each like a nut from a shell cracked with a shoe against hot tarmac.—I wish there were simpler words for this—to reach a point zero or the limit, to write: “It was so hard without you,” and then, “Thank God, you came,” instead of: “You are standing in the window’s green rectangle; apples look like crystals,” or, “You’ll go away again, your scent will leave this room slowly and agonizingly like a headache after a long day.” A black dog comes into the house from the garden, the road vibrates in its emptiness and the heat opens tiny cafés on the verandas. “Even more.” The tip of the birch touches the moon, which, having sucked the night dry, recedes into the blue. Grasshoppers are ticking in the grass like lost watches. Birds call from the ravine.—”Our happiness is accidental.”