Long Listed for the Griffin Poetry Awards, 2023



Day of Revelation, I think, it must be about many

           humble things,

killed feathers, lost umbrellas, tables without salt


children’s jaundice, the only gold they retained, old

people’s nails, leftover wine in glasses and secretions

           of women in holding cells,

and among them, Christ singing with false voice,

nasal, in memory of Mr. Lavrentis the church choir


who never got his five daughters married therefore

            he killed them all

and he personally prepared them for their burial.

Then, the crowd dispersed as usually, the lost soldiers


and I saw many of them kissing in secret many kitchen


since beauty was our most thoughtful, mournful event,

             uncertain promises

which we still believed and blew on our hands in the

             side street.

All prisoners in the courtyard were pale and looked

             the same

like scattered matches, memories, blood shed, true

             story that will never be written

and compassion has a wooden leg and it echoes; an

old woman pulled her teeth one by one cursing her


“I’d like to pass” one yelled and indeed he meant

              a big wreath

which was also part of the conspiracy.

Thus I always felt jealous of the unsuspicious men

and I stole a spoon full of sugar while they slept

            and I fed the horses on the road

like the day we buried young Charalambos and upon

            returning home

we found the fly buzzing on the closed window pane

and then we cried a lot too.

It was something new, truly, that I hadn’t felt before

             “ah I’d like to die with that”

I thought, since no one would ever hear it nor would

             it ever end

and the pretrial continued, the bailiff wrote carefully

             all the details

and the court clerk pushed the crowd or went out

             for a quick coffee

and Vladimir Ilyich pretended to be dead not to meet

             my glance

when finally they found the bread in my pocket, now

             convinced of my guilt

“I had it for the dogs” I begged of them “not necessarily”

             the examiner said

“besides Loucia doesn’t play with me” I said; then they

told me to take off my socks; I felt ashamed since I

             never wore socks

and since they had to keep the rules they put an old

             pair on me

which, sobbing, I started taking off slowly.