mama, what happened here?

I ask and ask, already, one might say, grown up


rarely do I climb on a stool anymore to reach for something



now I reach for other things, for example,

higher education –

so that I could still boast of something to my parents,

so that my relatives would be more forgiving:

                                                 this one, after all, has a higher



mama, what happened here?

since childhood, she said, I was crazed,

always trying to comprehend what happens when you



even now, I scrape my knees

choosing the wrong way

collecting black and blue marks like a child

smearing my hands with ink



this one writes and writes – what can we do? she has a higher


they don’t have much to boast of, my parents

in front of my relatives


mama, what happened here?

I don’t know why I wanted to be, like a boy, not a


but an astronaut


and then it began: earrings, climbing through windows,

staying away from home, friends, beer – I felt like I had

set foot on the



a little later: poems about moonlight

and the search for an elevated moment – like Mačernis,

our visionary


and yet I never reached a higher aerobatics

and remain

very much afraid

of heights




his lips remind me of

an unhusked sunflower seed

their taste is the same:

salty, a bit bitter

his lips are opening shells of seed


when my tongue caresses his ear

I remember Van Gogh

and think of what would be,

what would happen, if I bit –


I don’t want to return

his body

I’ll leave yellow blossoms as change

black seeds


what would grow if I were to sow those lips like seed?


Ramunė Brundzaitė was born in 1988 in Vilnius, where she obtained a Bachelor‘s degree in Lithuanian Philology and the Italian language and the Master‘s degree in Intermedial Literature Studies at Vilnius University. In 2013 she won in the contest of the First Book held by the Lithuanian Association for Writers. Her first collection of poetry titled Drugy, mano drauge was awarded the Young Yotving’s prize during the Druskininkai Poetic Fall festival and later she received the prize of the Mayor of Vilnius for her works on Vilnius. She lived and studied in Udine (Italy) for half a year. She is writing for cultural press, translating and teaching Italian. Currently she is having a graduate internship in Italy, at the museums of writers Italo Svevo and James Joyce.

Translated by Rimas Uzgiris

Photo: Karolina