From Diary of Age (Imerologio tis ilikias)

Eleni Vakalo

Translated from Greek by Karen Emmerich


Is the surrounding by silence
Of a low land
Whose still-insatiable age
Lies deeply in wait
—Against the attraction of another planet—
There where the older works sank
Into its body

And those works

Isolated dangers from other eras
The column drums—white—resemble
Plumeless birdheads
Like broken halves of other animals’ skulls
That if you find them remind you
Of shards of old limestone carvings
Though you won’t find birdbones on these rocky shores
They must dissolve quickly
Since eating them when they’re small
They even melt in your mouth.

The flavors are strange and linger
Exciting the spots on the sun.

Mythology of Flavors

—Mostly they aren’t from birds—

The fish’s diaphanous embryo
Passes milky and unchanging into the light
Too small to have shape
And it doesn’t cause fear
If swimming you see down below the dark
Shape of the fish
It doesn’t matter that slipping from touch it escapes
It is slightly more dense than the flavor of the sea
It amasses the sea
Struggling to push it out it slowly takes shape
Later it plays
In moments of stillness it leaps from the water
As if the sea were tasting the sun again.

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