many onces in a poem

by valentinestavrou

once i realized im the fire       that scorched the land to build it anew       once
i was young&wordless         my spirit broken into a million little pieces   scattered in narratives that werent mine    once i found refuge in loving a mask         madly     then a force so strong pushed me against the rocks but the sea failed to keep me in     once i glued a broken glass        now its an unbreakable diamond slab     once i laughed at the bullets left in deserted houses       i told them i shared pasta with the enemy        with our bellies full he was the enemy no more        once the mirror whispered i love you with all your history&flaws   &then i loved my country with all its histories&flaws   once i crossed a border into the silence of a buffer zone     eager to listen to children playing      i promised id dance till the streets stirred with life       once i felt a paddle of words grow into a flowing river daring me to litter blank pages with letters           once my soft voice pierced a room full of people           once someone told me a turk is a turk       a greek is a greek        once he read a poem                                       it said a cypriot is a cypriot.

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