Maria Kranidis


The ancients outlived their destiny

In a world of gods and marble.

In this place, difference is the same,

The coming and staying

Between the grain and chill

Adjusting to divine prosperity

From what seemed a home then;

A life ended for another one to begin.

Captivated by promises,

In the center of the city

The woman covers her head,

Her eyes windows to friend and enemy,

Deeper than the black sea

Collapsing shut at sunset.

Her accent,

Forced to break splinters into bones of foreigners

The west has met the other here.

Emotions swinging from the tongue

Those who don’t know the heart,

Only hear the missed chances of language.

And I see her,

Almost like me,

When black, white, yellow and red move me

To collapse in a world

Too difficult to share

When Buddha, Christ, Zeus, Allah, move me

Without doubt

To a god who does not negotiate,

A god who stutters,

But tells the truth,

A god who recognizes us

When language does not connect us,

When history does not remind us,

When religion does not teach us,

When life is full of sleep

To heal the oozing sore in our hearts

To fall on our knees before the sunset’s stubborn ending

And forget how certain

The unpredictable is.


MARIA KRANIDIS teaches at Suffolk County Community College, N.Y. Her work has appeared in Cabaret, Long Island Quarterly, Cassandra, Confrontation, Poetry Magazine, Best Poem and Apollo’s Lyre.