kernel, reflections

though the fact that they were terrible did not mean that they were necessarily truthful

αντίο στην κυρία Α.

Κόκκινο. Αν είχα μόνο μια λέξη να πω για σένα θα’ταν κόκκινο. Γιατί δεν έβγαινες ποτέ απ΄το σπίτι χωρίς κόκκινο κραγιόν. Γιατί ήσουν όμορφη με το κόκκινο κραγιόν και τα μαυρόασπρα μαλλιά. Γιατί μ’αγαπούσες. Γιατί κρατάω όσα μου είπες.Γιατί με την σκούπα στο χέρι και τα γάντια, ανάμεσα στα καθαριστικά ήσουν αρχοντική. Γιατί μου έλεγες για πάπιες πορτοκάλι που έφτιαχνες σε ένα μικρό διαμερισματάκι στο Παρίσι, φοιτήτρια. Γιατί και τότε, φόραγες κόκκινο κραγιόν. Γιατί όσα κι’αν άλλαξαν στην ζωή σου, το κόκκινο κραγιόν δεν άλλαξε. Γιατί μια μέρα, απόγευμα, σε είδα καθισμένη στην βεράντα, κρυμμένη πίσω απ’τα φυτά σου,με τα πόδια μαζεμένα, ένα βιβλίο ανοικτό, φορούσες παλιόρουχα και κόκκινο κραγιόν. Ποτέ σουτιέν, αλλα πάντα κόκκινο κραγιόν. ‘Ενα φτηνό μου χες πει.

Γαλήνη. Αν είχα ακόμη μια λέξη θα’ταν γαλήνη.


i walk in swathes of land    drenched in
bearing fruit&flowers
that understand        two languages
missing     the murmur
of a people
who used to laugh
over coffee

on turning thirty

my body’s betraying me   following the path of nature
i was given&never asked for
soft fat around my tummy looks         motherly
my thighs follow their mediterranean mould
my hips              mock my early twenties jeans
&i can’t bear to answer yet another question
when will you be a mother   are you ever getting married
a grandchild will make me so happy 

at home,
i speak to my body trying to make it understand that
im not ready, i might never be
i keep explaining that motherhood is a         choice
the mirror keeps         hinting
that at almost thirty
i’ve failed

there it is,
a blink lasting less that a fraction of a section
in the green eyes of a man
what are you
the question mark as big as the pine tree
at the edge of the village
i had walked in just like daddy had taught me,
remember you belong here,on every piece of this island
my confidence breaks into silent apologies
as i lower my green eyes
trying to remember how we ask for coffee
in turkish
i mumble merhaba my thick accent
the green eyes smile
and ask σκέττο, μέτριο, γλυκό;
and i feel the land welcoming me
reminding me
that we come from jasmine&rosewater&coffee&almond blossom
&orange trees&sun&sea salt
that we are a people
that know what


instead of counting sheep
i fall asleep
counting heartbeats.

Dear diary,

I woke up to a sky aligned with how i feel inside.
Cold and gloomy. I prefer it. It would have been more painful if it had been a sunny day.
He left the day I saw my first almond blossom of the season; a glimpse of hope is always in need.
We said goodbye on the last day of winter. I like to think that he will forever be in spring now, smiling down on his loved ones.

You will be missed,
& not forgotten.

February 17, 2017

i’ve never felt so proud
of making a man laugh
of making a dying man laugh.

i left him, trying to remember where i’ve put
my funeral blouse
for he is a dying man

& i’ve never felt so blessed
for all the memories i have

today, i made a dying man laugh.


we seem to forget that
where once blood was shed
flowers grow
every spring
to decorate our

they see my lips
red&voluptuous       thinking they’ve been made
to say yes       to kiss a child’s forehead
to please a man’s toy     my other words are forced
down my throat       they forget my fingers

your fragile figure
carrying        your beautiful face, awashed with grief
going up the staircase
of a   dark       empty house
that is a home        no more
follows me       as i walk
through life
hoping        someday          you’ll come back
to us