Print article

In its center all is water

you were saying that night, if you remember

as the fire was dimming the light

on the moist fingernails slowly peeling

the dry skin from the orange

before sinking into its yellow succulence


A woman, the boy, fruit

in this world is made of water

simmering indifferent or silent within them

languidly sometime breaking out in sweat

to quench the thirst of its creatures

before evaporating upward again


The surface of water is called earth

and its homeland the clouds

in the impenetrable center of air

while fire is extinguished at its shudder

batting eyelashes, I think you were saying

with the end’s fiery gaze


I am afraid, I had said, before you spoke

of inflicting evil on you with all I carry

with hands that do not resist the cold

when my thought freezes as

the wind burns the face behind it

deserting dust carved in relief


You rose then not to stoke the fire

but to bring me some water

without my asking for it yet

letting it run for a while

closer to the heart of the liquid deposit

that shines precious drops on the glass


I have tried many times to remember

exactly what you said that night

and why your words, unforgotten

though not remembered

comforted me in a translucent way

softening on me wherever they flowed


I know that when I come home burdened

I peel the dry garments off now

let the water run naked on the body

and have the sense of bathing with light

in the dark bathroom, but even if light enters

I close my eyes


Don’t be afraid, you said, if this love is not

as you think, something solid, of earth

-- a sandcastle sinking

from a boat traversing the deep

mailing waves to shore

sprinkling babies with salt


A being is fluid

so it can flow on the body’s slopes

and fit in the vessels of the soul

before it returns water to water

before it discovers its ends at the center

before it becomes centered


Nothing can hide in water


As upon it falls the grain imprinting

the universe and before it dissolves

it rocks its hard surface

reconstructing reflections

in water’s memory – remember?

forgetting impressions of moments


Cleanse your own words if not mine

at the sound of the tap or the waterfall

which bring water from the center of water

being within us so deep at the origin

until that moment arrives

when it has finally circled us all


No need to remember my exact words

Let go, though

Don’t let me go


Translated by Maria Koundoura and the author