Two Poems by Inga Pizane, translated by Jayde Will

It wasn’t a date –
we simply went to the shop for laundry detergent,
because our dirty laundry basket was full.
It was a completely normal spring day.
Airplanes roared overhead.
People brought their trash out. Some sorted, some didn’t.
Parents pushed their kids on swings in their yards.
And the swings reminded you of old clocks,
whose times had just been turned ahead.
We walked past thrushes,
which were pecking at something in the first shoots of grass.
I wore rubber boots, you had a hood.
We had forgotten the umbrella.
I held on to your arm
so I could jump over a puddle.
Then we came to the stoplight.
There was a flower vendor there.
You bought narcissi for me.
When we got to the shop, we bought everything,
we just forgot
the laundry detergent.
From I don’t know you
to I know you better than I know myself
we traveled far and wide.

Until we reached our final destination.

And then we travelled back
even further and wider
from I know you better than I know myself
to I don’t know you at all.
Inga Pizane (born 1986 in Kraslava, Latvia ) is a poet. Her first collection of poems, Tu neesi sniegs (“You Are no Snow”), was published in 2016 by “Jānis Roze” publishing house. She has performed at the Poetry Days events, the “The Blood of a Poet” festival and other international workshops and festivals, and her work has appeared in theatre and radio. Her poems have been translated into English, Welsh and Russian. She is working on her second collection of poems, and a selection of her work translated into English by Jayde Will, Having Never Met, is forthcoming from A Midsummer Night’s Press.

Jayde Will is a literary translator. His translations of Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian authors have appeared in numerous anthologies, including several Best European Fiction anthologies and the Dedalus Book of Lithuanian Literature. His forthcoming translations include Latvian writer Daina Tabūna’s short story collection First Time (The Emma Press) and Latvian poet Inga Pizāne’s poetry collection Having Never Met (A Midsummer Night’s Press), where these poems are excerpted from.