Perry S. Nicholas
I am an Associate Professor of English at Erie Community College North in Buffalo, N.Y. I have 5 books, 2 chapbooks, and 1 CD of poetry. I am married to Maria Sebastian, a well-known singer/songwriter, and we perform our poetry and music together at many venues in the WNY area. For more information please visit my website: www.perrynicholas.com
I’d forgotten how the sun
bears down, unforgiving,
on your white tiles
and my white skin.
I spot you
blue and beaten down,
realize we have both
reverted to our tired ways.
If you see her, say hello—
I hear Dylan’s Blood spilling
from the one open tavern,
and I wonder if it’s necessary
to venture in, find the source
of such an unexpected choice,
or just settle under a fig tree,
let it go, savor this tiny mystery.
Captain Dimitris (a Good Man)
I eat alone by the aquamarine Aegean,
when up steps a large, limping man
with typical captain’s hat and says,
I knew your father.
I answer shortly: are you sure?
But then he continues to describe
my father’s accident in the States in ’51.
No one could have known these details.
The next day he drives me along
the narrow, scary roads, an ancient tour guide,
while I pray he not take a hand off the wheel,
spin me off into the waiting sea.
Finally, I ask him directly, time running out:
What do you remember most about him?
Was he happy after that? A good man?
A pause seems to last another 50 years.
Smiling at me sideways, slightly impatient,
the clicking of his komboloyia stopping:
How could he not be, he surprises me,
Look at you.
Ande vre, malaka, fere mou mia birra!
The loud Greek family continues on
into the night, drowning out wild cats
and dogs, motorscooters in the wind-cut distance.
They get bored with the upcoming election,
start on a new topic—me—quiet Americano
staying in the house next door. They laugh,
maybe the mosquitoes will devour him.
His mother lived in the house, left for the States,
and died. This draws some interest.
His father's family from here too. Now some respect.
Looks just like his first cousin with more hair.
They sidestep to their eldest son who spent
some time in New York, London, ending up
back here on the island working for a bank.
But he could never afford a trip like this one.
Back to me: Why is he here alone?
not realizing the American behind the shutters
understands Greek. Mocking again:
fenete san pusti. He looks like he must be gay.
©2015 Perry S. Nicholas