Kārlis Vērdiņ
Night across the Daugava
Come on, I'll take you home.

The tram, charging the last ten or more meters like a drunken boat, turns sharply,—so the riders fall from their seats and wake up—and opens its doors, lets dark into the cars.

After rain the wet cobblestones shine. The drugstore, the hospital, the asylum and the semetary warmly open their gates. In the shop windows are garden gnomes and perfect kitchen sets— we'll pass those by.

All night in the grimy streetlight someone sits by a kiosk, drinking beer and taking money from the latenight customers. You'll give him a cigarette, and he'll pour us a mouthful.

My little street ends suddenly before a huge highway—at the last second we'll dart into a stairwell. There, white cats walk along the walls, empty ampules crunch on the floor, tree branches open a window and lightly nibble at the spread of the glass.

My rooms are pretty empty, colorful beams play movies for us on the walls and ceiling—there, in the dark, a maple beyond the window, in the stretches of holey fog; there, in the basement flower-beds, weeds sprout; there, my grandfather, still in his white shirt, sits on the floor and peels apples. The beams blackout, the house is left in the center of a tunnel of dark. Sleep: you must go farther alone.

Kārlis Vērdiņ
fot. Marina Schukina

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