Once again the land was alone
with me. The hills were humped and low.
I had crossed the intersection
of extravagant mythology and bloody
ritual. I was in the midst of devouring
bogs and cults. I was trying to
hold on to my ideas of what a road
is and does.
I entered Thessaloniki in the rain.
Skopje was a long road behind me.
Stillness prevailed in the big room.
The marble floor spat at me.
I remember most her large eroded
face, framed by black hair. She
walked barefoot in order to hear
the commands of God through the earth.
Silver and green,
gray and dusty blue,
they changed color
with any breeze—
the olive leaves
of Pylos, their
Islands started to slip by
Stars began to shine
before the sun was
A moon goddess climbed
the sky in her chariot.
Yet all this. The water
soughed and stirred in the harbor.
Nightly she sat like Artemis
and sang or wailed, her
voice rose and fell.
Now and then she would
shake her breasts.
stamped and grinned.
Why was I still watching?
Why was I still alone?
The mastic bushes and the black
beach stayed behind as I
hurried off to climb to Nea Moni
to see a monk about an icon.
Are you traveling alone in Kalamata,
he asked. It was a fair question
and one that had an easy answer
at last: all Greece traveled in me.