I missed my turn

forgot the money on the counter

almost let the beans burn

soaked the pot among useless banter

called my mom to talk about his soccer career.

He was eighteen until twenty-three

why are you asking? are you drinking beer

Just thinking

you forgot again, why are you so distracted

you need to stop working, she says

I already do what I love

teach, write, love, hate, soak the soul

pray to candles, talk to birds at Walmart

while my daughter rolls her eyes

you are different, Ma

and then she tells me her warrior

ways and vow I had nothing to do with that

part of her.

I write poems in parking lots

and dream that you are in my head again

kissing my collarbone

singing songs on my bare skin

you already did that didn’t you?

They wanted him, she says

it broke his heart

leaving soccer to come to Montreal

you know that they had one second of silence

in Korinth

when he died?

Yeah, Ma, I know.

He was a true champion

but he didn’t make money

they paid for his food though (wow)

and his accommodations

and he saw all of Greece.

He was born in the wrong time.

Aren’t we all?

No, we’re not.

okay, I have to write a poem.

Do you want to see his love letters?

And of course, I cried

some more.

My poems?

Yes, and I didn’t sleep that night.

I held her close as you held me.

I confess to you my original sin

recycle the empty bottles of gin

encounter ghosts in flames

break down my barrier with word games

only you

can enter

where no man has been before.

All this to say

you do remind

me of him.

By Christina Strigas

Christina Strigas is a Canadian poet, raised by Greek immigrants, and has written three poetry books. Her latest, Love & Vodka, has been featured by CBC Books in, “Your Ultimate Canadian Poetry List: 68 Poetry Collections Recommended by you.”
LOVE & METAXA, her fourth poetry book is coming out May 25, 2021.
In her spare time, Christina enjoys foreign cinema, reading the classics, and cooking traditional Greek recipes that have been handed down from her grandmother.

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