On The Sixth Floor (Mažvydas Library)
Poem By Laurynas Katkus
An elevator, murmuring quietly,
Lifts us into a sky of books.
Eyes closed, you twist your hair around your finger:
Slumber is a soft and warm cocoon.
It will tear, when you step into the labyrinth of shelves.
When you hang your I.D. around your neck.
In the nearby prison's yellow cages, they read the script
Another way, with the whole body. On Iron Wolf Street
The cars race, competing toward success.
Here only twilight, hours on end, twilight…
At lunch you'll drink juice from a wine glass.
The pungence sticking to the corner of your lips.
You'll wander down the aisles, not even searching
For the beginning or end of the letters.
As if saying goodbye, you'll touch the spines of the books.
For you know, how one waits for a sign. Just a stirring.
How on understanding, everything shines.
How the shelves are endless.
The door opens onto the dim corridor.
But my electricity
Has grazed your hair.
Not moving, not paying any attention,
You stand and drink your image,
Which duplicates itself in the elevator's mirrors.
Translated by Kerry Shawn Keys