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.
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
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.