Katerina Anghelaki Rooke, Selected Poems


                                                 For Rodney

                                                 on our thirty years together


                                               They turned the fear of death into the oestrus of their lives

                                                                       ~Andreas Empiricos


The spastic woman lost control

and the carriage like an animal bridled by pain

dashed screeching wildly.

Soon after

like sudden nausea

the memory of the real body

came back to her

and the unfortunate woman

restarted going almost joyous

on her small wheels.

Opposite, wrapped in the rosy hues

of the gray time

the house where Thrush was born.

Ah, but first I have to describe

the reef to which I swam:

its shape, the chaki color

reminded me of a backpack

like the ones which eons ago we filled

with the sandwiches of youth.

I kept on closing to the reef

helped by the waters

with their light-blue blouses

that had painted on their blouses cypresses

from the cemetery of the opposite shore.

The beautiful temptation had overtaken me:

to not ever return again

to close the underwater cycle

— neckless of unimaginable value —

around my neck.

As I swam farther out

— I slowly ripped the fabric of the sea —

I kicked drawn loves that surfaced

I kicked them back to lay

down on their weed beds.

Then I questioned myself

if I had truly desired

those acceptable shapes

of the desirable, something

between the subjected body

and the empty talk…

Eros is the only godly glance

that might fall on us

the unbelievers, I would say.

Yet, look, how the sea with the blue

eyelids arouses me now

I’m lasciviously scared

and I float on ditch water

not knowing where it takes me

because I step

the invisible side of lust:



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