Red in Black, poetry by Manolis Aligizakis


Today I meet

the lone wild rose

rusted by salinity of time

on the side of my path

dehydrated crab shells

malodorous that

not long ago thrived with life

hungry seagulls

foresee the invincible end

condors of the seashore

encircle the heart’s open wound

rotting on earth

and in the air

condor sniffs my old body

only the symbols retain their shine

and lead my tired steps

straight to the cemetery

where fame overlooks and myths reign

one day my life will be explained

where my arthritic joins

hardly endure the passing

of the last moments

there where years later

with a full wallet I return

to order my golden gravestone

that the simpleminded will say

the bitter truth: he too exiled

himself, he too was ours

and they’ll blaspheme an old man

for the mistake he made

in his unfledged youth.

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