„So what´syour favourite drink?“

I ask her-

An elfish Estonian lightning-streak

With a lynx´s spirit,

Scarcely six or seven, yet

Weather-worn, sea-sailed.

„Water“, she replies

With the sure-footed seriousness of

A captain´s daughter.

„And what does water taste like?“

Smirkingly, I pry.

Not two seconds go by,

Just a glance towards the sky.

„Like rain“

Scores more lives lived and battles lost,

I realize –

That´s my favorite,



Adam Cullen (b. 1986) is a poet and translator of Estonian prose, poetry, and drama into English. His most recent literary translations include Kai Aareleid’s Burning Cities, Mehis Heinsaar’s The Butterfly Man and Other Stories, Mihkel Mutt’s The Inner Immigrant, and Rein Raud’s The Reconstruction.