You Never Knew Me

[Ode to an angelic byzantinist hopelessly dreaming of Mount Athos]

You followed the shadows of my words,

perennially pursued by a hostile sun,

sliding through inhospitable caves and stones,

under the cries of snuffed out candles

and the frozen glances on the walls.

In devastating strides you slipped in

and through shining darkness you sang,

but there were no frail saints to listen

and no souls to travel along your eyes,

only the silent ghosts of fallen icons.

And the words followed me to distant lands,

fading through the dust of deserted roads,

tossed way up into violent, fateful clouds,

thunderously falling through your heavy hair,

a merciless rain of petrified memories.

And yet you heard neither laments nor hymns,

but only caught the fleeting, fearsome rainbow,

sent into a journey of desolation and vanity,

an aimless march through evaporating meadows

and the incensed smiles of the dead soldiers.

[Also inspired by George Seferis' "Three days in the monasteries of Cappadocia" (in Greek & French -- Center For Asia Minor Studies, Athens 1953/2000)]

for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave

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