Candor

By Alexandra Mouratidou

 

If you'd been silent

you would have heard my tears ticking

on that mosaic floor years ago.

Once I'd gathered them all, in the beat of an impulse—

yes, I gathered them all— I tucked them up my sleeve.

I roamed around: the seas autumned,

the pomegranates ripened­–several times indeed–

youth grayed, and the music was drawn again in infinite shapes.

 

But, somehow, the place, time, or size did not fit at all­—

it just couldn’t fit in my imperfect aquatic pearls,

and I couldn’t let go.

One day, I met a thiasus.

It was as amusing as a proper thiasus should be.

Or, at least, I laughed a lot.

But I was tired of the road, of the years

and of that weight up my sleeve.

So, I found a stool. The highest stool behind the stage,

and sat there–carelessly I admit–

and for a while, I fell asleep.

 

It was the stage’s warmth, and I was so tired indeed

that for a moment I didn’t recognize my own hand

pulling the curtain from the opposite side

exposing me almost comically half-asleep.

What are you doing here, I whispered.

All this time I was trying to find out

who was hiding behind all of my mistakes,

who was carrying my oblivions,

and I find you.

You, I said. By ‘you’, you mean me?

And then we were really confused about who was who, and who’s to blame. 

The performance was finished. The clock struck twice.

We shook hands as a pallid acceptance

and called it a night.