la vita nuda by Christos L. Hadjigeorgiou

la vita nuda

Apple orchards in bloom, treacle tart: oily malt arrives first
on the palate followed by smoked pineapple, summer
berries, pine nuts and almonds, a very soft hint of sulphur
. . . . . . . . . . . . . as in the baths of Davlos,
my father’s and grandfather’s
and great-grandfather’s village, Davlos, a torch
under the castle of Kantara, a craggy lime ghost
and the bray of donkeys tied
in 1973 on the capstan of the well still
rings in my ears and the bones of the dead, Greeks
and Turks, Phoenicians and Crusaders whirl
at its bottom for centuries.

Now Wolf moon over Kantara; a voyage; incoming; a boy’s legs
disappear into the wine-dark water
and although Auden is not
wrong about human suffering,
. . . . . . . children cram into inflatable boats
only to end up in concentration
camps and women plunge into the cold, their bodies
heavy with weeping as men carry infants on their
backs their feet, their tired
. . . . . feet . . . . . bare on beach
pebbles, ζωή . . . . . not βίος, bare life first
shot with military-grade cameras, bare life
incoming: and Mosse zoomed in
on a curious . . . . . little . . . . . girl holding onto a smart
phone and we fail to understand that poverty and despair have many
dimensions just as displacement and the sense
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . of home
and the white bodies are trapped in limbo
forever, la vita nuda masked as protracted refugee situations
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . intractable-

Cyprus cyclamen and pink
Anatolian orchids still carpet the pine forest in Davlos
. . . . . . . and I am told that as a small
boy, I tumbled down that slope into the turquoise sea,
looking for pearls, sea urchins, and turtles
and tonight we drink Craigellachie in small Limoges
cups but what started as an excuse
. . . . . . . . . . . .to discuss poetry and voyages over whiskey
turned into libation
. . . . . . . . . . . . and remembrance
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and horror.

by Christos L. Hadjigeorgiou

Editor’s note: The complicated enjambment and spacing of this poem mirrors the complex grief/anger/sorrow of the speaker.

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