i have authentic white tiny flowers in my hair
the way i was supposed to live
walking for my aunt, down the tiny cobblestone roads
in the middle of summer, following the gorgeous bride,
in the village my parents were born and fell in love,
singing Greek songs in the open air,
watching how the Mediterranean sun plays golden tricks
on my mother’s short 70’s crew cut.
on the plane with my dad
emergency landing to tend to the sick
his father is dying and everyone is talking about
olive trees. my hair is too short for Europe
my knees too knobby but everyone loves my accent
they say i’m beautiful
i sleep at the top of the hill with my cousin Mimika
and two other cousins have my name and moles.
I find it weird that we all look alike yet no one sees
the sun’s brilliance like me
or notices how the moon shines at twelve years old.
they want all my clothes and look at the brand names
while i care more about the sky and my grandmother’s sad eyes.
she likes to hug me like it’s the last time she will
every hug feels like her last hug.
i felt death hug me when she squeezed and kissed me like that.
we sleep in the afternoon or climb out the window to play with the hens.
everyone my father loved has died
I’m backpacking through Europe with my best friend
and we visit my childhood
but it’s so long gone,
i slept all through Paros
Santorini saw all our dirty laundry
Pensioni Andre had no mirrors
so we hid well
under the sun’s rays.
Every day lasted forever
every love a lifetime.
I’m three months pregnant in Agadir
and doing some kind of pregnancy test
it feels like this baby will live
and he does.
my life will never be the same again
i’m a mother
the ultrasound indicates it’s a girl
and i cry like a baby
praying she’ll stay warm and safe
and never leave me stranded.
with blood and tears.
everyone sees Greece though the eyes of my children
and we love each other madly
brings us closer
and the cup we were
meant to drink
is full of memories
and our future is still
full of dreams.
he says no matter how old you are
you are always young to me
you never age.
i love you.
these are the years that grab me
make me cry to our song
and i sign death certificates.
i grab hold of my soul
and shake it a bit
then i silence it.
you thought you knew me
but truly it’s 1973
and the sun is the brightest i’ve ever witnessed
and my mother’s beauty haunts me.