Untitled #4

by Nijole Miliauskaite

Nijole Miliauskaite

all the fears of childhood
all the dreams of terror
nightmares, the loneliness of children
the sense of guilt
a face pale as the sky fades
and longing
for something to free her
rescue her
a timid girl
still hides
in the soul's secluded rooms
in weeds, mirrors, wind
old photographs
I cannot chase her away
how cold
how thin are her hands
on your palms, my love
she knows nothing
she understands nothing
but when she furrows her brow
and listens to the voices
of her clouded spirit
floods her suddenly
like heavy breathing
incomprehensible sweet sorrow
how good it is
to grieve and wait
her body aches, still grows
wants to be alone
tries on mother's clothes
chooses herself a name
searches books for a suitable biography
of unattractive face, reserved
gaping at a glass ball
at a float swilled by the sea
at a mirror
is hungry
to see
her purpose
her destiny
by the river, farther on, beyond the border
the red convent school
where you grew up, a timid frightened
a distrustful
look, two teeth
hidden in the mouth, a watchfully guarded
square of solitude
what arrogance
of the one that you once were
the sweet taste of rebellion
that first touched your palate
in the convent school
what belief
in the self
and life to come
of the one
that you once were
blushing you lower your eyes
and you have no place to put your long
twig-thin arms, you hide your breasts
beneath heavy braids, under pleats and folds
on the avenue
of old hollow linden trees
head and lap
full of yellow blossoms -
I love this summer, these
brick buildings,
a large cool poultice
for a fevered
growing spirit
I would joyfully throw off
this worn orphan's dress
made of the devil's hide, wool, the strongest
fabric of poverty
worn by many girls
before me
and that outgrown washed out dress, filled
with the kitchen's stifling air and vapors
and the alkali that eats at the hands,
with patched elbows,
the dress that cannot be worn out -
the feel of the orphanage
that does not leave you
even if you molt your skin
I hide it
at the very bottom
under old
books I have read in secret
in the stuffy darkness of the eaves
and slam shut
the heavy

Last updated January 14, 2019