Cyprus

by Christos Polydorou

The island I am from is the most beautiful island in the world, because it is what I know, and it is what I am united to, and to which I belong. The island of copper in the Mediterranean that everyone from Turk to Brit tried to usurp, still stands, maybe not entirely, but we can be proud of our seventy per cent, that is our republic, and is ours, and we run it, and it is safe, more or less. If you are in Nicosia and you wander off into Old Nicosia beyond the limits of your mind, you might find a narrow road sealed with barrels, and across from you, on the top of a dilapidated building, a Turkish soldier carrying a gun way too large for his frame. That is because those guns are over forty, fifty years old. That is because those buildings, no one has retouched them, longer. And that is because this land, is forgotten, and not many care for it, which is why it floats an inch closer to Egypt everyday, Greece at the back, towards its redemption, which it shall achieve, of course, because it has been patient, that island of mine, it has been true, and it has become richer in of itself, while the Turkish side crumbles in its own filth, as the Turkish army feed on their own garbage, and the Turkish mothers weep back in Turkey into the Bosporus as if they can’t quite escape the opacity of the Orhan Pamuk novel they are so tragically and hellishly trapped in. That island of mine, it gave birth to a lion, inside a crab, on the wind. One is what one is. One is from where one is from. And the personal destiny of one is leaves and fruit on the branches of the collective and cultural destiny one grows from, I cannot forget it. An immigrant here in London, although I speak more correctly than most post-Brexit hater, and with a richer, broader, and far more thoughtful vocabulary, I sit silently, in my room in a house and the room in my soul, writing, hoping to change the world, hoping to write the right line, say the right thing, that will help liberate my island, Cyprus, from the hands of the Turkish Army.

 

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