of Art

by Christos Polydorou

Greece calls me.

From the straits of Olympus.

From the breasts of the caryatids in Acropolis.

They call me.

They say, be our pilgrim, be our messenger.

Be our cupbearer, be our crusader, from Capernaum

to Propylae, from the Statue of Liberty to

the Arc de Triomphe de l’Etoile,

collect

the unredeemable dead,

release them into the air, like birds.

I found it morbid, at first, but I had been asked

politely, and I am a sucker, for manners.

Late, I pay the xylophone.

Quietly, into the night air.

I arrived, in January, in Seoul.

I unspun red ribbons into the glass of it.

Then back to Cyprus.

At Pellapais.

I looked down upon Kyrenia.

And saw my shadow too,

that (as well) of a bird,

but I shan’t say which,

lest I am shot down.

All the way to Persia.

My consciousness has survived

the ruins of Babylon.

Be brave, redeemer.

Be a coward, and you will be incarcerated.

Your body is such a temporary thing.

Learn to undress yourself of it.

Go, country to country,

Century to century, upon wings,

of art, without leaving your chair.

The dance

of stillness.

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