Gytis Norvilas - AUTUMN MANEUVERS

crosses march through the fields
with holes in their shoes, smiling, backpacks
packed with pots, groats and matches, they have
calloused feet, sunsets glare off scratchy knees,
they wash up in gas stations, brush their teeth

crosses march through the fields
heads full of holes, they’re all friends in the abyss:
the svirskiai, riaubos, birchen, piny,
made from oak, fir, maple and cedar – – –
freedom in the holes – darkness knows this

crosses march through the fields
above their heads fly rosaries of migrating birds
gravestone slabs of clouds – – –
their trenches and dug-outs are heaped full

crosses march through the fields
roads and swords are crossed, gestures of contempt in their pockets,
they make campfires, cook broth, warm beans in the can
feeding the fire with themselves, from each other’s bodies they strip a plank,
a good burn, they move slowly – – –

crosses march through the fields
farting loudly, animals avoid them
people fall at their feet, lean them on walls
empty their pockets, shake them down, even cut their throats
or make them dance, prove their origins, place them at crossroads as a joke – – –

crosses march through the fields
their road gazes at nothing, with no final goal that shines
(the world – eyes stabbed out – you can’t shine for the blind)
their birthplace is nowhere, and they seek it not to winter, but
to pull themselves out
to pull themselves out
to pull themselves out of the burning earth