by Irene Ioannou
I am forty now, not moved by nine- month-summers,
friends visiting from the north, drooling at the size
of my bikini drawers, borrowing colorful thong sandals,
envying my skin, my red scooter, the shade under my fig.
I can live without water melons, and tasty tomatoes,
that sand cementing everywhere, collections of seashells,
urchins, and rocks of all shapes and sizes. I need
some cool air to re-navigate my life, some north grass to step on.
My parents’ house has tons of grass, and wind, and rain,
and clouds of all shapes and sizes, and my old collections
of stamps, and postcards, showing faraway islands,
surrounded by green waters. But the cold air reminds me
that they’re meant to stay distant, made for short trips
to summer friends. The cold air makes people more polite,
the working hours more pleasant, the boss more aware of his
limits, me, returning back to old habits, old news.
The hours go by, the days, the seasons, the clouds at their place,
I get used again to the early dark, the underground shops,
running in the snow, the only thing I cannot get used to, is checking
myself in the mirror and looking so damn awful in winter clothes.