Helen Dimos is a Greek-American poet currently living in Boston, Massachusetts (USA)
and Athens, Greece. She is a guest organizer of the Paros Translation Symposium
held annually in Greece and founded by poets Susan Gevirtz and Siarita Kouka.
In The Village
The boys dance under yellow streetlight. I do not know where their coats have gone, disintegrated maybe. Snow the color of snow at night under yellow light when it is raining. One boy turns to me through a barrier of rain. He makes an elfish face I imagine easy to imagine then gives up, sits down, leans back against a lamppost extends his legs feet limp toes pointing out. Hands between his knees his shoulders slouch. He hears the voice of his mother and straightens a bit but his mind shifts like an anchored boat his shoulders drop once again the voice dissolves into the lamppost which absorbs it without feeling.
Under the table completely hidden from view her hands do their work. The rind curls away in perfect uninterrupted spiral and before it drops on the floor she brings it up between her thumb and the blade of her knife to drop it on the paper plate, orange ball in hand.
The girl asks why she peels that way under the table like that and how come she doesn't cut herself.
I know how to use a knife, she says. Like any real person should.
In The Gorge
Muddy shin high boots crossed at the ankles on a low bench covered with coarse red blanket the man says tomorrow he'll go hunting. Wild boar.
Two women sitting with him talk of marriage. When they start in their own language the man twirls his worry beads. He heaves up to pluck a cigarette from the case. Lights the cigarette, drops the lighter on the mantel. Returns to low bench covered with coarse red blanket.
Elbows propped on knees, he inhales. Dropping his head so it hangs loose he tugs the hair at his nape. The young one looks at him. She switches back to his own language to tell him he shouldn't smoke so much.
My mother tells a story I barely remember and I see it again as she tells it and then I do not know if it is my memory or hers. She says one summer a fisherman brought us to a beach with his caïque. He said he would be back in some hours. No other people were there and no people had ever been there and the sand was hot and white. We swam and she spread the straw mat and we lay in the sun until it was too hot. When I had eaten I fell asleep in her side. The hours passed and the white heat of midday came and went and the fisherman did not return. My mother woke me and said perhaps the man had forgotten us. I ask was she afraid and she says, No. You woke curled against me and the sand was turning cool and the sea was only thin ripples grazing the shore.
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