A Thousand Souls to the Land

I dream of Cleopatra-
The refugee girl on Macedonian shores
Thirsty in the heat.
In her pocket,
Pain forged into a knife.
A song hiding in the reeds,
Heavy rituals to bury the dead
Claimed by the water’s greed.

Do you remember
When scholars and bards
Drank on her beauty and guile?
Her dreams are now swallowed up
beneath the mouth of the Nile,
and she begins anew.

I dream of Icarus-
Wings spread, eyes ahead,
Fleeing the nightmare of Crete.
Unwavering, he follows his father
To a land of hopes discreet.
Though sirens of the sky fill him with desire
Bidding his spirit to aim higher,
His time is not yet come.
As the future strains its vocal chords,
Through upstream currents he flies north
To a town called survival.

I reach for this rock, this harsh monument
Whose fragments are lost,
Cast to the shadows of the Earth
By the mindless hand of fate.

I watch the fragment that I am
Stand on fickle supports
Stand not on shoulders of giants but crumbs
While vultures pick at my lungs
And claw at the gilded remains
Of half promises and half stories.

My home, an island of dust and sand
where at the edges
A thousand turtles race to the water,
And a thousand souls to the land.
The unforgiving waves hold small mountains
In whose carapace souls faded
Will take their rest
And envy the ones who made it.

While the ones who made it
Will walk in steps heavy with grief,
Engrave histories into channels and streams
Spilling onto rivulets,
Revealing the Earth’s pulsating veins
To the great river where hopes are drained.
But in my dreams of Cleopatra and Icarus
I hear their names and I know
This river will flow again.

My half-awoken lips
In whispers speak,
Lesbia, run to your home.
From your breast cast your lovers,
For on southern sands a child
Will find sweet comfort,
Will breathe deep, his fire alive,
Will change the colour of our skin
And our empty shores revive.

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