Poetry: Hypostasis by Triin Paja

“Hypostasis” soaks in mist, in daughters missing, in the mute colors of a dark and eager earth—in a few stanzas, Triin Paja peers into death and finds a violin. Listen to it sing:



Have you thanked God for this failure already?
– Arvo Pärt

at dusk, in a garden, a woman tells
her child had blonde hair, like mine.
the air is so blue, the greenhouse
is a mosque. the garden’s belly

is full of weeds and the weight
of a dead daughter’s hair.
you must learn tenderness
that is not erotic, nor asking.

a violin plays in the heart of a girl
until she is touched. at dusk,
she desires a daughter’s face:
a deer heaving a mythology until

it becomes a skeleton. we kneel
with her bones in the nettles.
the nettles do not sting us.
they do not sing to us either.

what is buried here, animal
and child, drinks the mist water
dripping from apples. impassively,
night purges all color, bird, leaf, hair.

grass murmurs the hushed prayers
of caged saints: to say a daughter’s
name as gently. even this becomes oil
for the lantern of our poor earth.



Triin Paja

Triin Paja lives in rural Estonia. Her poetry has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Portland Review, Adroit Journal, Room, and Poetry Daily, among others. She is the author of a poetry collection in Estonian, Nõges (Värske Raamat, 2018), recipient of the Betti Alver Literary Award.

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