Adrianne Kalfopoulou

Adrianne Kalfopoulou

Because the News Was Bad4/3/2015, Athens, Greece

I picked up honey from a man who didn’t give receipts,
dark curls of homemade pasta with pitouri. 

The kitchen isn’t warm but there’s tea for evenings
when I sit in it, and wine that’s not expensive.

These accomplishments are so small I don’t know
if I can even use the word for what they celebrate.

Though it is an occasion when you find the woman still there
who sells honey and fruit at the stand on Panepistimiou.

She was there for years, bagging the healthy-looking
apples and oranges and bananas and the cherries and plums

when they were in season, her rough hands
with their polished nails, dark reds or pinks were the colors

I remember, I think it was important for her to polish her nails.
The honey she sold was the best and cheapest buy,

it came from Tripoli she said, the man who had the bees
delivered only certain times a month. Behind the fruit stand

the heroin addicts shoot up on the sidewalk,
you sometimes recognized the faces, they were the same ones

waiting for the pushers who don’t always look much different
from the users, maybe quicker on their feet, more alert.

The police are rarely around. I go to work every day
feeling as if that is already something to manage, the trip to work

not an accomplishment in the way receiving an award
might be. Kiki wrote me that she is reading Rimbaud,

“delighted” by the poems. I don’t think this is a verb used
frequently to describe Rimbaud, but it says a lot

about perspective. Kiki also said that the horizon felt
empty, and the line between being devastated and saved

was thinner than anyone realized so we really can’t talk about
a celebration or an accomplishment though we enjoy

the wine and honey and poetry.