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From Tūla by Jurgis Kunčinas


MY sensitive nostrils, overstrained by the city, quiver, but I no longer have any spare exits, I have no spare feelings, no spare parts in my imperfect little bat body; perhaps that’s why my love is so short—so intoxicating and so simple—a love that can neither lose anything any more, nor overcome anything; so that’s why I watch over you, together with the lilacs, on the ceiling above your shallow cot: I see you, in your dreary sleep, throw your arm aside, uncover the trembling expanse of the heart, and then, then, entirely unexpectedly, a bluish cluster of lilac with two green leaves falls on your chest. I wave my little leathery wings, and now the lilac falls like rain—in clusters, tufts, twigs: violet, greenish, hardened into clots of blossoms; soft lilacs, you know, the kind that bloom and wilt in the overgrown garden plots outside the city where farmsteads used to stand, next to the woods, on foundations that have already crumbled.

     The lilacs fall, spinning around in the cold air, spreading blossoms over your hair, falling into your unwept tears, sticking to your barely open mouth, winding in strands around your slender neck, darkening on your belly, falling over your bed, the floor, the boxes with dusty albums and memories, descending into the pitcher with water left for the night, while other clusters, bouquets, blooms, failing to find a place to settle, spin a bit longer, and then disintegrate into tiny stars, so much like the fantastic creatures in the depths of the sea. And I dive into the darkness and crash painfully into the window—that would never happen to a real bat! I smile and curl my lip, while black blood oozes from the tiny mouse snout. No one sees where it drips... And where is that? The black blood drips on your bed, unwillingly soaks through the fabric, and now it’s dripping onto the black clinker tiles under your eternal cot, Tūla, Tūla...

     Lying on my back on the grayish window sill, I see that the cloud lying on Békés Hill suddenly stirs and descends, whistling, at an impossible speed, straight at the house with an apse on the bank of the Vilnelė, straight at us, at you, Tūla, at me...



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