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Poetry

…no evil thing is evil insofar as it exists,
but insofar as it is turned…
—Saint Gregory Palamás

What had I meant to say? Just now. I have forgotten.
Which among the extant flourishing phenomena
are you? Is that a limp? The evening drifts
into its routine dimming of particulars, quite
literally evening the scene along the shore.
We’re all made even now, though you’re still limping.

The little boats at anchor have retained a single stroke
of gold to edge their canvas canopies, lent them
by the setting sun’s last flare. Their painted hulls
have all gone gray—if variously gray—and we
are strolling the gray pavement to our suppers
at the beach café—το ψάροταβερνα, we like to say.

I’m hoping for grilled octopus με τζατζίκι,
παρακαλώ. Και μία μπίρα. Do you suppose
those lights ahead might frame our destination for the night?
I think they might. We’ll reach them soon enough and, when we have,
we’ll see with both our rods and cones and suddenly
our colors will return. Meantime, have you noticed how

our evening stroll compels our taking pains attending
to the variegated shade in hopes of stepping clear
of ruts along the gray? None of them is adequately
evident amid continued dimming—which has of late
become so nearly palpable that one could almost
take it or mistake it for something of itself.


The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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