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Words Without Borders is an inaugural Whiting Literary Magazine Prize winner!
from the February 2018 issue

“Forgetting” & “Home”

Aizmiršana and Mājas

Forgetting
 


Listen to Arvis Viguls read his poem "Forgetting" in the original Latvian


The pawn shop, where we sold your rings,
was shuttered.
The silver spoons that you got for your baptism
have disappeared.

Oblivion smells like ammonia.
We scattered salt on the floor
and our memories
and poured chlorine—on our history.

We buried you so deep,
but you
still come to us in our dreams
and don’t say a word.


Home

The key jiggles in the door.
The dinner table is splitting in half
like a sinking ship out of a film.
With Mom on one side, the other—Dad.

Each one holds on for dear life
to the plate in front of them.
No, that’s not a life preserver.

The chandelier glows in all its brilliance
between the room’s Scylla and Charybdis.

They have put on their best clothes,
leaving their life vests in the closet.
No one gets up from the table
until their plate is empty.

The telephone rings.
The Christmas tree decorations
have scattered on the floor.

A family—
they talk about everything else but that at the table
but then the glass balls break beneath their steps
and cut their feet
as they go toward one another—
right through the pain.

It’s the shortest path.

"Aizmiršana" and "Mājas" © Arvis Viguls. By arrangement with the author. Translations © 2018 by Jayde Will. All rights reserved.

Aizmiršana and Mājas

Aizmiršana

Lombardu, kurā atdevām tavus gredzenus,
slēdza.
Sudraba karotītes, ko tev dāvināja kristībās,
ir pazudušas.

Aizmirstība smaržo pēc dezinfekcijas līdzekļa.
Mēs nobārstījām grīdas un savu atmiņu
ar sāli,
tavu vēsturi — ar hloru.

Mēs tik dziļi tevi aprakām,
bet tu
joprojām nāc pie mums sapņos
un pat nesaki ne vārda.

 

Mājas

Atslēga skrapst durvīs.
Vakariņu galds lūst uz pusēm
kā grimstošais kuģis no filmas.
Vienā galā māte, otrā — tēvs.

Ikviens iekrampējas ar skatienu
šķīvī savā priekšā.
Nē, tas nav glābšanas riņķis.

Lustra mirdz visā spožumā
starp telpas Haribdu un Skillu.

Viņi uzvilkuši savas labākās drēbes,
glābšanas vestes palika skapī.

Kuģis grimst,
bet neviens necelsies no galda,
līdz šķīvis nebūs tukšs.

Telefona zvans.
Ziemassvētku eglītes rotājumi
izripojuši pa grīdu.
 
Ģimene —
pie galda viņi runā aplinkus,
bet stikla bumbas plīst zem viņu soļiem
un griež pēdas,
kad viņi iet viens otram pretī
tieši caur sāpēm.

Tas ir vistaisnākais ceļš.
 
 

 

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