Mr Stratis Thalassinos Describes a Man III Ephebe
On my sixteenth year in the summer a foreign voice sang in my ears;
it was, I remember, by the sea shore among the red nets
and a boat abandoned on the sand, a skeleton
I tried to go near that voice by putting
my ear on the sand the voice disappeared
but there was a shooting star
as though I saw a shooting star for the first time
and on my lips the salinity of the waves.
From that night the roots of trees never came to me.
The next day a voyage opened in my mind
and closed again like a book of pictures;
I thought of going down to the shore every evening
first to learn of the shore and then to go on a trip;
the third day I fell in love with a girl on a hill;
she had a little white house like a lone chapel
an old mother at the window and glasses always
lowered on her knitting, always silent
a pot of basil a pot of carnations
I think her name was Vasso Frosso or Billio;
so I forgot the sea.
One Monday in October
I found a broken water pitcher before the little white house
Vasso (for short) appeared in a black dress,
her hair uncombed and her eyes red
when I asked her:
‘She died, the doctor said she died because
we didn’t slaughter a black cock when we started
the foundations…where can one find a black cock
around here…there are only white flocks…and
in the market they sell chicken already plucked.’
I never imagined sorrow and death being like that
I left and returned to the sea.
That night on the deck of “St Nicolas”
I had a dream of a very old olive tree crying.