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Phoebe Kitanidis

(a translation from the Modern Greek,
original poem by Nikos Kavadias)


Dance on a sharkís wing and flicker
your tongue in the breeze as you pass.

A moray eel on the rock is shredding a snake.

Somewhere else, your name was Judith;
here you are Maria.

Since childhood I was in a rush, but now Iím nearly finished.
An engineís my commander in this world, and whistling still.
Your hand that touched my sparse hair,
If for a moment it bent me, today doesnít rule me.

Painted to be bathed in the red lanternís glow,
bursting seaweed and roses, amphibious fate.
You were riding, a horse without a saddle or a bridle
on the first time, in a cave at Altamira.

A gull angles to gouge a dolphin blind.

Donít look at me like that...
I could remind you where you saw me:
broken on your back, I took you down in the sand,
that night they founded the Pyramids.

Painted yourself to shine for the sickly light.
Thirsty for gold?
Take it.
        Search me.
                     Count it out.

And here beside you years unmoving I would stay
till you became my destiny, death, and stone.

©2005 by Phoebe Kitanidis

Phoebe Kitanidis is a Greek-American writer who lives in Seattle. She teaches creative writing and speech classes, and she recently finished a novel, Be My Yoko Ono. See more of her work at her Web site.

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