There will be more than one
We celebrated another thousand years like people.
When the women went home, we bellowed like beasts.
The beasts, tied up in the dark, matched us in one chorus.
The museum was unlocked. We stuck our heads
into the hollow tree, into the empty space of a thousand years.
We could feel the crosswind blow like the years of our lives,
feeling time take a rest, our madness shine, we felt
time’s unseen needle scratch the black vinyl of time.
That’s the fun of it, though none of us requested the music.
We were so fired up that we could’ve made heads roll –
yes, we’d hold out even if the Teutonic Knights, the Swedes,
or the Muscovites came again, or even if Napoleon’s Germans
came to steal our snuff-boxes and spearheads – we’d hold out
as required; so we sat around a grand-looking table lifting shot glasses
for the coming victory. We poured the burning water into our
hollow trunks that hide even more histories – maturing like hams
in cold smokehouses, so as not to over-dry – shot by shot
we’ll have what to toast – the farther we go the more important to toast –
such are our customs – it’s not the first time we’d had so much –
from such clear understanding: there will be more than one millennium,
to come – from such fierce joy, no one will be able to hold it all in –
but the longer we hold out above the table, the more
millennia we pour into our hollow trunks – pour
or don’t pour, there will always be dry logs – such
a fire we’ll build – there will be more than one millennium to come.
Translated by Rimas Užgiris