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Stella Apostolidis

Mykonos 1940

As if the breached night
Was not pervasive enough
You swam to my window
And pulled me out of bed
For a swim of course --
A swim through a course
Of islands named after fruits
And mythological creatures

Groups of landmasses
not big enough
For a civilization
But sweet enough for dreams
And lazy afternoons
With a frappe in one hand
And a French cigarette in the other

And here
It wasn’t even the breathless frogs
Flooding the kafenio
Or the soldiers coming back
from beyond the mainland,
Without limbs or even,
Without that expected purse of the lips and head tilt up,
That forced my dreams to rest

It was that
When you swam to me,
          That half-dark night,
          That night that seemed as day
          With the bombs bursting like American songs,
          Almost as close as your own hair on my shoulder
As your mouth only iterated survival,
I hushed your tangerine coated lips with silent disavowal
          Because, love, to speak of means of survival
          is to cast away
          The gleam on the olive trees and to flavor
The afternoon coffee with paranoid secretions

©2003 by Stella Apostolidis

Stella Apostolidis is a professor and a poet from Queens, New York. She is a poet who finds beauty in documentary and human experience. She has a Masters degree in English, and is currently pursuing her doctorate in Literature.

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