Mona Lisa Effect / Eleni Tzirtzilaki, Caper, 2014


[...]people alone in the picture frames
as the girl destroyed the room
there weren’t those you’d met in the squares
as they once travelled afar
it was another course
she announced to me her death
with no preamble
only the last words
the first ones were scared
it was a bright, luminous morning
don’t forget it

her body swathed in seaweed
and the sound of the city
reached down here
even if we had no news from there
the woman at the coffee shop said
they have forsaken us
no ship
no bus
no hospitals
just people

I was in the shade
of the tree
a tamarix
one metre from the sea
salty caper grew near there
on the rock

the dog
stared at the sea
the bird hovered threatening
above us

in the distance
women gave birth alone

and then runs on the sand
the lizards sun themselves
the sea daffodils have just blossomed in the sand
seaweed the sea disgorges tonight
all is serene
the sky is full of bright stars
a red moon from afar
from the archipelago?

It comes
alone I lose myself in its body
the demonstrators’ cries are heard this far
its body red on the sand
a song reaches me from the street

unemployed mothers
children alone in the streets
the children leave
the closed schools

as the sun sinks in the sea for the night
mauve violet green
love travels to Antarctica
the waves and the seabirds have returned
now that the people have left to bring what?
in these leaden years
the silver sea you carry with you
in towns and in Athenian neighbourhoods
warm and soft it hugs you
and then I saw him
sleeping in an arcade off Eolou Street, Saturday night
cardboard boxes
it was he, you recognised him
fear came to grip you
his lips reminded you of the kiss
discernible amidst the cardboard
down the street young people on a night out in town
he turned inside the boxes
pulling the blanket closer to get warm
this Saturday night
and the lips were
we used to laugh, remember?
and talk of distant travels
the hotel was not far from here
she felt the cold on her back
and in her heart tonight

Syngros Hospital, silent doors
closed doors
the end lurks and awaits[...]

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