Poetry by Eeva Park

by Eeva Park, Jayde Will

Formica rufa

The ant,
which I drained out of a birch juice jar
didn’t die
nor was it dead,
though I killed it already for the fifth time,
I pressed him to bits between the thumb and forefinger
of my right hand,
drowned him with tap water
pressed him with a spoon,
but he climbed out of the sink,
dark brown and straight antennas
moving quickly on six legs
still in that one direction
a quick thought,
to grant him amnesty
I could toss him in the yard,
let him live,
if I could recognize his gait out of all
the other ants
I could be god of the ants
But I don’t.


St. John’s Night

The point of the matter is that the scar would remain
for your whole life,
so if you let the glowing poker
burn the mark of St. John’s on your back
while chewing a shashlik spit to numbness
so the cries of pain wouldn’t ring all over Värska
then the point of the matter
precisely is
that the scar would remain


House pet

Today I am the king’s cat
I walk in the hundred rooms of his castle
I sleep on the cushion of his throne
wearing a little watch of gold around my neck
I give off sparks, when his hand glides over my fur
I purr in the warmth of the canopy bed my claws
caress his body
only there where it itches
only there
I extend them
roaring in the jungle of my heart
where tigers are tearing the habitat’s trees
apart with their claws marking their territory
the dangerous limits of life.


The old beautiful women said come over
and sit here with us on the long bench
we’ll make room for you in the middle
because when we go
through the dark from here
you’ll have to stay
put your hands on your knees
and say
I am a beautiful old woman
on a long bench
at the edge of this world

Say something nice.
Even a fib.
so what if I don’t believe you,
that people shine,
say something about this light, that surrounds them
like a flame’s glow from a candle
and when you saw the glimmer of all the seven colors
with glasses
and without
and believing
and not believing your own
eyes and power of sight
and the fact that others don’t see it,
that they don’t shout from surprise,
don’t jump from their seat
looking, how the person in front of them is shining
in this triumphant light,
which surrounds him like a glow of a flame from a candle.


And what will happen now?
When there’s no electricity.
The screen is black
And there is no light to be seen in the whole village.
Everything is quiet,
even that, which I didn’t notice before the murmuring.
Also the radio in the kitchen.
And now?
What will happen to me?
In this quiet twilight.
That very word almost slipped my mind.
I sit listening.
I sit oddly.
Time stands still.
For a moment.  For a century.
And that is happening now.

One body in solitude cries out and another answers.
Our bodies never once doubted.
The skin realized and understood, when you came and we stayed,
our skin pattern’s exact match,
just like grass to a landscape, trees and hills and
and an ever-changing sky above them,
the skin realized,
the bodies never once regretted,
if thoughts hadn’t wallowed in pains of longing to get away,
then nothing would have chopped us apart.

Lit up with light a shadow moves in the window.
Maybe you remember that theater,
that we played as children at each birthday,
when the whole neighborhood gathered at our place,
because our mom let us nail the theater curtain wherever
and the shadow theater could begin.

Translated by Jayde Will