by Vasiliki Katsarou

a man takes a woman
on a wedding trip
before I was born

for one last look upon home,
a café on the village square,
the field, its harvest of exile

pellucid Pelasgia
partial coinage
of a man-made image

or something like this
tangible language, this audible curve,
this emotionese

he left me
this ring
of partial glimpses

the way I see it
I was left
to translate him

lift his disembodied eye
to my eye, find no archive of anecdota
but shed and shadow

self recognition in this Cézannesque
square: a basket of fruit, sun-dappled wall--
I set my sepia-toned pastorals

against his transparency: modern markers of industry,
café tray, glass-bottled sodas, metal ashcan
are what I sought to leave out

he left me
this ring
of partial glimpses

the way I see it
I was left
to translate him

“apple, o apple of my eye,”
he called me
matia mou, you who are my eyes--

why Ekta-chrome? I pressed him,
paper is ephemeral, he thought
slide film is better, it’ll last

last, last, little pools of memory
until this cold water
shall trickle

Vasiliki Katsarou is a dual U.S./Greek citizen who grew up in Jack Kerouac’s hometown of Lowell, Massachusetts. She is the author of the collection,Memento Tsunami, and the forthcoming poetry chapbook Three Sea Stones. She holds an AB magna cum laude in comparative literature from Harvard University and an MFA in filmmaking from Boston University. She read her poetry at the 2014 Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, and is a Teaching Artist at Hunterdon Art Museum in Clinton, New Jersey.

Poet’s Note

This poem is for my father, Petros Katsaros, 1923-2011. The Kodak slide carousel was patented in 1965, one year after my parents were married. Pelasgia is the town in Greece where both my parents grew up.