Katerina Anghelaki Rooke, Selected Poems

VIII

What time before dawn

when in dream I reach the precipice

and I fall, fall

without my body?

All deaths are staged here

by people

the breath of leaves is heard

new birds replace yesterday’s

just to sing with

one flutter, one soul.

Where am I at that moment

the only important moment

that underlines the great adventure

where am I when

they take away from me

one spring every night

and I don’t touch the womb

that gives birth

the butterfly that turns dry?

Ages!

All ages are poor

and the age of eighteen

is dimply lit by the other miracle

it tastes darkness a little

and they don’t count

the value of the body

the infinite nature of the body.

And innocence, like blindness

and the old fool saints

fly a kite up in the air.

That hour which poets

match to a wolf

that hour, known only to the body

that writhes, growls

the sky of sleep turns dark

I and you too die

a thousand times

before dawn.

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