Indrѐ Valantinaitѐ - LENA

The resort cafe’s cook Lena
leans smoking against the doorjamb.

Through the curtain of rain, a look sharp as a knife pierces the sea
Cutting fish not yet caught.

The pockets of her soaking wet apron are empty –
She just returned the key.

A fish with sharp teeth adorns the café’s sign –
The signature dish here ‘ucha’. Fish soup.

The sound from the kitchen of fish heads being severed:
Chop, chop, chop…

The owner’s lover wipes her hands on her jeans –
young snitch with hair the color of the sun.

Lena’s handbag with the broken zipper
holds three lukewarm cutlets –
Dinner for her two daughters and herself.

The last bus home leaves in two hours.

Translated by Ada Valaitis