Later when the gunshots started I didn’t know who to

            save first

many useless things needed my attention, the verger

            narrated her ancient argument

with Hagia Kaikilia, “I therefore go to the doctor; he

was at his last hours I’m still alive” he said to us

all others had found refuge at the storage room where

the last scene was unfolding; the pawnbroker was

standing at the edge, I saw them running, I locked

the door; this has been repeated for centuries;

in other words, I just managed to understand what

I was saying, since I often died,

just to earn some coal for the winter cold.

Poor humanity, you haven’t even written a short


and the poor man of unknown name and residence

died; they took him to be used at the lab anatomy

lessons and sometimes a lonely woman cries next

to the empty bed not knowing how she touched

the enigma with that rotten kerchief.

I was sitting, I remember, at the café, autumn,

and was listening to the vague conversations

the sound of games of chance when he suddenly

came in sat at my table and coughed, to fool me

of course, “you have to hide for a while”

he says to me “lower your pants asshole”,

I say to him, “let me see your belly button” and

indeed he was that wretched asshole, the first man,

the traitor who wanted to learn,

until they expelled us.

However I can’t but cry each time my hand touches

the soft belly button of the prostitute; those

tiny hairs as if someone continues his tender

           narration from far away.

If, one day, I manage to escape, I’ll open a small

           store in a side street

to sell bitter things: tiny taxidermy animals, biographies

           of poor people,

eyelids that never closed and of course, unthoughtful

           spirit lamps;

on the entrance I’ll write, “pay the blind man on the

opposite side, he’s the only one who knows”. During

the evening I’ll sit by the door with my black hat and          

a patisserie tray on hand for whoever can understand.

And perhaps that funny old woman may return with her

            faint smile held with pins

“I’ve brought it to you” she will say, “she has her

own house” and perhaps she means uncertainty or

the dead woman or as the Lord may have ordered

since the preacher kept on crying out “brothers”

and untie Eudokia “silence” she says to me “what’s

this and put the wall back to where it belongs”.

Now I’m sad that you won’t be able to write to me,

            my good friend,

the envelopes and writing paper are expensive indeed

for a dead person (who they unthoughtfully bury

in the dampness)

yet when I usually think of you

it’s as if I get dressed in all the black ashtrays and

your mother, let them call her crazy because she always

          holds an umbrella,

since it always rains in the world now, as an old poet

would have said, the real stories are very rare.

God help us.