Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

In New York, I Remember Greece (So as Not to Remember Her)

Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

In New York, I Remember Greece (So as Not to Remember Her)

Article excerpt

Blind sentries of skyscrapers, blind centuries of bedrock,

don't mind me-this blip biking down Broadway

through warm summer rain, trying to think of anything

but the vivisection of my days,

into before, during, and the inevitable

after, which morphs into just another

before-that countdown that resets itself

each time she walks away.

Shush of taxi tires, sweet acrid scent

of the road opening itself to the weather, a scent

Greeked by some geek into petrichor,

from petra, the word for stone, and ichor, as in the holy

consomme that broths the veins of gods

instead of blood. So perhaps

memories of Naxos instead, that island I fled to

at 22 with my worthless degree, mixing drinks for already drunk

Brits and Swedes. An island known best for the Portara-

a massive ruined door from the finest temple

never built, once connected

to the mainland but now standing

on its own little island, the water around it rising.

A door from

and to nothing, nowhere.

And now what?

In the right light,

a portal perhaps, an invitation to imagine. Which I did

each day before my shift, pedaling a battered push-bike

into the mountains and, after work, tipsy

off the dregs of cocktail shakers, swimming

naked in the night sea.

What did it say about me,

that the most romantic trip of my life

was one I took alone? …

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