Light folds the sea in honey
Drowsy waves wash away the wedding feast.
Three days guzzling, guests crawl in sand like swine
Bulging suns burst at their eyes
Ripens sleepers twinned in copper.
Shimmers of liquid glass
Break men in two.
Air lies like wine
Its drunken wafts wrap up the violins
Goats suckle at abandoned flutes
Gate-posts sprout shoots.
Even a priest, would take a wife in Lapithos.
Weighing down his donkey with his charm
Xenofos, ‘catch’ of the village, never caught,
Danced a giant mirror on his knee.
Proudest of gifts, hugged safe.
Framed in flashing glass, Xenofos spun songs to still the birds
Through seasick fields and skies
Rode handsome from Morphou – ‘Omorpho horko’
To be best man in Lapithos.
Lapithos – white tables lined the shore
The mirror set in sand against the tide.
Balancing a twisted handkerchief, matching palms
The groom and best man danced the bride
A fickle rush of cloud teasing the sea.
Mouthing the moon, Xenofos made songs for his friend the groom
Keeper of mad men in Lapithos.
The fiddler stitched them tight.
No one knew how, perhaps the wine had sipped their sight
Third wedding dawn, repeated in the glass
They found the best man with the bride.
Tied backwards to his donkey, drunk
They whipped him home – one week over Kyrenia’s rocks.
The donkey died. Xenofos sang on
Seeing her face daily born in sharp and shining things.
He wept over puddles, wells, cuts from broken glass
Soaking in his bride.
The strange light in his name slipped inside his head.
Ashamed, the father turned his picture to the wall, hung glass in black
Gave him away, to the only place for lunatics he knew
Prickly pears suited Christos
He too sucked his years from dead ground.
Nourished by priests –
Who planted Christ in his name
Picked him a wormy wife –
He carried God on his shoulders
Worshipped the scorching air
A sparse-bearded, black-bible man
Riddled with prayer.
His house slept six dowryless daughters
Even when passing barefoot, the tail of his vrakka swaggered
And swept his steps clear.
But cactus crowded his land.
In the cool before sunrise, treading thorns
He fished for fruits with split bamboo.
Balanced in brown paper
Carved into liquid coals.
He stood with the sun at noon
Beside his handcart, selling for two piastres:
“Siga … Baboutso-siga … ”
His fruit bathed in a pail.
Life stretched –
Until the night the cutting wind slid down the mountains
Scythed his cactus clean.
Stung in sleep, shrieking thorns
Slammed against glass
Christos stuttered naked into the storm
His mouth vinegar
Teeth clenched skulls
Torrents baptised the barrels of his gun
His forefinger crossed the trigger.
He aimed his soul at some point
Only Christos saw
Boomed through God.