The Ones Who Don't Belong 6.

Poem By Liāna Langa

Farewell, homo mediocris! We dream and sleep still among roe
subtly rose. So slow their movement, so sticky. As if someone
will come shortly to glue our transparent flesh together.
We can do it ourselves! Just the water doesn't permit it,
which is always above us when we're awake.
I remember poorly, but now and then it dawns in my mind
that we met in a large city where giant royal schrimp were just
a vulgar appetizer for the locals, and in the red-hot streets,
where noble moors, earth sons, thundered
their drums of brightly polished steel.
The air was full of sweat and a blue-sky salt arrived by mail
in unaddressed evelopes. We opened them, licking salt
but never feeling sated, while the waiters lined up still more
and more letters on the table. You asked: "Do you recognize
the sender?" To which I answered: "Yes."
Hummingbirds wound nests in my hair, but our arms were like lead
when we tried to touch each other. Imprisoned in space and time,
we swung only our heads, where in the grey matter feathers
ingrown like antennae decorated us.
You said: "The transmitters have been turned on. Can we tell
the clouds about molluscs and flames, about humans
and inaudible songs?" But the sound of the drums was too loud.
Around us cannon fodder was decaying.
I couldn't hear you.
We continued to swing our heads slowly. Soon centuries grew black.
I still recall vaguely, but it seems, a strange human flew by us.
His head was larger than earth's girth. And in his teeth echoed
knots twelve.

Translated by Margita Gailītis

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Other poems of LANGA

The Ones Who Don't Belong 1.

I wake suddenly from deep sleep.
In the forest's undergrowth my shadow roams.
Hundred-thousand-year greedy muzzles suck
moisture clinging to a vessel of mist.

The Ones Who Don't Belong 2.

Leaves frost-bitten by a harsh night rustle between my fingers.
A rook siddles closer
to a cross painted mud-colour. A white pebble thrown against
the cheap granite slab summons an echo

The Ones Who Don't Belong 3.

You say to me - summer? Stop! Too much of glowing flesh, glassy
grey light on eyelids, the odour of decaying melons. Maybe
a movie, ditam, ditam? Dipetti, dipetti, perhaps to the Antarctic?
Don't be angry. Escape heals, but only for a space of time, just until

The Ones Who Don't Belong 4.

Come, life's winter! In a corner of a window ledge a titmouse
pecks at a bit of bacon
whiter than the city's snow. Lemon yellow sunbeam bagpipes
tangle in tree branches sounding funeral marches. Racing clouds

The Ones Who Don't Belong 5.

A roadside garden queen boards the train Aizkraukle - Riga.
She's wearing rubber boots, a grey moustache
above a chapped mouth.