ISSN 0024-5089
Copyright © 2011 LITUANUS Foundation, Inc.

Volume 57, No.4 - Winter 2011
Editor of this issue: Patrick Chura

Poems by Sonata Paliulytė

SONATA PALIULYTĖ graduated from the Lithuanian Music and Theatre Academy, specializing in acting. Her collection of poems, P.S., received the prestigious “Young Jotvingis” prize as the best debut poetry collection of 2005. Her most recent book of poetry, Still Life, was published in 2011. She lives in Vilnius.


Birth of an Angel

I’m searching for the person
who can sketch
the guardian Angel.

I would like to cut it out
of paper, hang it around my neck,
walk boldly down the streets—
afraid of nothing.

I would like to think about
important things, not sink into trifles.
To know this friend made out of paper
doesn’t play false with me.

I should become transparent
like wax paper—
and it wouldn’t cause me discomfort.

When it becomes unbearably cold,
I would strike a match,
light a candle,
set fire to my skirt,
to the angel hanging around my neck…

…both our paper bodies should burst
into flame—become for somebody,
really and truly,
a distant and irradiant


Waiting for a Miracle

Everything is done
I performed all my duties:
The flower is watered, the bed sheets are washed
I shovel the crumbs off the table...
And pour some milk for the cat,
Counting hours,
I sip a glass of beer,
and later on—another…
I’m waiting for morning.

I take another cigarette.
I wish the key would creak turning in the lock—
but instead—just silence.
The calm of hoping in suspense
That the miracle happens—this time—
tomorrow morning.


To my Aunt Adelė

On clean sheets
As white as snow
My beloved
Granny sleeps.

A morning breeze blows
Through the barely opened window.
Tears on roller skates roll
Down to the windowsill.

My dream brings to mind
Summer’s flowering,
And my silhouette scuds
Back to my childhood

Where I buried my face
In her warm breast,
And felt speechless—almost,
To be so blest.


Tricky Games of Angels

The angels perched on the tops of the pines
are playing the game “Target.”
One cone, a second, a third…
strike against the shins, the thighs, the backside—
sexual, unpretentious, covert.
Me—just a visitor in this glade,
in this flowering. For no good reason trampling the moss,
so what, no time left to lay down a fresh carpet.
And the angels, wings outspread,
already preparing to escort a new soul to heaven
snapped from these fondled thighs
that were kicked and finally
stoned with cones by the darling angels.


Potato Meditation

Squatting near the garbage,
I peel potatoes.
The ritual’s simple.
Just slitting off the buds.
Just gouging out the eyes,
throwing the peels in a pile.
Thump… thump… the potatoes
clonk the sink.
I’ll grate a big bowl
and cook potato pancakes—
you loved them most of all.
One pancake for the mom,
Another—for the dad,
the third—for aunty,
for the grannies
gone now in memories,
for the little one,
for myself,
for all the days and nights,
for all the spilled tears
to be swallowed today with pancakes—
salty pancakes they’ll be.
If someone salts too much it means she loves, folks say,
but there’s no mercy today.
Just the frying pan,
just the well-aimed pop
of the oil;
the bare face
the bare hands
in the center of the target,
the raw potatoes going grey,
and the awkwardly grated
slightly burnt
like you liked,
in oil,
in remembrance.

Translated by Kerry Shawn Keys