There is always a need to know,
even if it is to not
I would say in certain terms
yes, I am coming,
no, I am going.
Γεια σου is hard and hopeful: the same word
at presence and for departure.
at once temporary, in-transit,
the interchange between
terminals of hello and goodbye.
You are silent watching me
as I watch milk cloud coffee,
dissolving slo-mo like a
bomb of white into a dark galaxy
of something I’ve only speculated about.
We all know the worlds of words we hold on
to no matter how heavy
and in our arms,
we cannot accept another one.
We dismiss with our native tongues.
They are weighed and too close,
proximity is danger, hence we
decide on “meine Liebe” und “<3”.
German maintains the distance
but it is good and close (enough).
What the heart sees, it makes memory.
What the heart remembers, it makes vision.
Αυτα τα δεντρα.
Αυτος ο δρόμος.
Αυτο το κτίριο.
Θελω να μαθω.
Τοσα πολλα πραγματα.
Δε με βλέπετε.
Είχαμε προγραμματίσει να κάνουμε τόσα πολλά πράγματα.
Μας έχεις την πίστη.
Μπορεί να μη φύγω.
*This poem is named after Roland Barthes’ book of the same title A Lover’s Discourse in Greek
**It is a cento I assembled from conversations found from the following:
Greek: An Essential Grammar of the Modern Language (Routledge Essential Grammars).
Matsukas, A (2012). Complete Greek Beginner to Intermediate Course: Learn to read, write, speak and understand a new language.
This visual poem explores the Chinese character “画” (hua) which means “to draw”, following the sequence of the eight strokes it takes to write 画.
Sayang, my mother called my father
so I called my husband that too
even if it only met his ears
like Schatz met mine.
What we had was description,
not meaning, so we settled for “love”,
the closest it touched our native hearts.