A shot from Statynbininku street

by Mindaugas Nastaravičius


A shot from Statynbininku street

Jaroslav called me over from the fence

and told me everything was clear: some black cat

his mother saw was slaughtering the chickens

 

so we inspected the incarnadine enclosure, white chickens

with scratched up behinds, vague spots of blood

on brown skin, but everything was clear:

 

the cat needed to be snuffed out, and the men of

Statybininku street –

we, two twelve-year olds – would do it with our own hands,

and then our mothers would no longer cry

 

Jaroslav offered a choice: to take up axes and wait,

or to carve out bows, attach a nail to each arrow shaft,

and then everything would be clear

while for half the day he searched for a juniper

or ash tree, while he looked around Statybininku for cord,

I was left on watch

 

of course, I made use of that: one after another, I took home

someone else’s chicken eggs, still alive, and barely

inside the kitchen, I whipped up some gogel mogel

 

as for the cat, we waited until dark, and when nothing

appeared, we started shooting toward the fence

until my arrow hit Jaroslav in the belly

 

of course, he didn’t die, but for two days, he didn’t

come out into the yard, and later, when we met, I brought him

a sausage sandwich from home, apologized, and that was that

 

afterwards, I tried to write about it, but as Jaroslav would say,

everything here is quite clear as is:

we should have chosen axes, then at least one of us

 

would no longer be here, because afterwards I tried to write about it,

until all of Statybininku street fell apart, and the chickens

slaughtered the cats, who now watch over Jaroslav

Translated by Rimas Uzgiris