by Rob Hardy

Walking home from our favorite restaurant, 
down labyrinthine streets that bend away
from the compass points and confuse
our grid-bound Midwestern sense of direction, 
in unison we chant κολοκυθοκεφτέδες
until it rolls smoothly from our tongues,
like a shibboleth for safe passage through
the polystrophe of the Old Town.
For the sirens of the waterfront tavernas
who promise us the best meal in Rethymno,
we reach into our brains for set phrases—
ήδη έχουμε φάει, ίσως άλλη φορά—
that come to us only after we’ve passed.

Rob Hardy is the first Poet Laureate of Northfield, Minnesota, and a Research Associate in Classics at Carleton College. His work has appeared most recently in Ploughshares, North Dakota Quarterly, and New England Review. He’s the author of Domestication (a collection of poems), The Collecting Jar (a poetry chapbook), and an adaptation of Aeschylus’s Oresteia, and the editor of a commentary on selections from Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica.