Portrait of a woman with razors

by Ramunė Brundzaitė

Portrait of a woman with razors

Literature doesn’t depict women shaving their legs

(from a lecture on literary theory)


a puppy licks the woman’s calves

gnaws with sharp little teeth

the bone overgrown with grass

leaving a red rash

on the other side

of skin


a cat sleeps in the woman’s underarm

occasionally plucking at hairs

the woman, framed by nylon, foam

face towels and a realm of shadows

paints a portrait of someone similar to herself

(while the little jars of paint quietly wane)

the bathroom changes the woman

the clock strikes

the mirror nods

 – now you can go.

returned home, the woman

washes off the salts of sweat

chases away the eye’s shadows

removes the lips’ gloss

in the loneliest of rooms

she releases the water, the body herded all day,

the cat and the dog

to graze in the grass




a scythe, plucking the calf’s clovers

a vacuum cleaner sucking up the downy hairs

a rowboat, its oars scraping the surface of spreading veins


a skeleton with a scythe, “from dust to dust”, Greek rivers

of the underworld –

to shave one’s legs – almost to die –

death is a woman

who shaves her armpits and legs


it waves no scythe but a razor

turning people into leg wax

singing joyously:

I’m your Venus! I’m your fire, at your desire!

Translated by Rimas Uzgiris