It rained today, clouds moving down along the darkened roofs, lights and dust in the distance, as I watched you walk barefoot in the wet street with your shoes in your hand, past the glass strategies and gray facades of closed houses. You were calm as a stone’s throw, daughter and mother all once again, the graceful mourners of the heart. I stood breathless as you passed by, stray headlights reflecting against the redness of the scaffolding and chalk marks on the walls, water brooding in small puddles in the dusk, the remaining augurs of a season of hope unruled by any measure. We were separate then, abstracted from the world, a genealogy of echoes at the edge of the street durable as keys in dead locks. I tinker here with time, am a mixture of fiction and fact, imperfect, obsessive, a disciple of guesses and hints. Tonight I am white and freshly painted, a pattern of emergence and descent that clouds your vision. Morning, they say, when it comes, may be clear as cold steel.
Jonas Zdanys is a bilingual poet and translator whose poems and translations have appeared in many magazines and journals, among them American Poetry Review, Connecticut Review, Crosscurrents, Field, Poem, Poetry, Sewanee Review, Yale Literary Magazine, and The Yale Review. He is the author of thirty-nine books, thirty-six of them collections of poetry written in English and in Lithuanian and of translations from the Lithuanian, most recently The Thin Light of Winter: New and Selected Poems (2009) and Artistic Cloning: Poems by Agnė Žagrakalytė (2010). He has received a number of prizes and book awards for his own poetry and for his translations of Lithuanian poetry into English and was the subject of an exhibit at the National Library of Lithuania on the occasion of his 60th birthday (http://www.lnb.lt/parodos/2/). He has taught at Yale University and the State University of New York, served for more than a decade as the state of Connecticut’s Chief Academic Officer, and is currently Professor of English at Sacred Heart University, where he teaches creative writing.