Nikolas Koutsodontis is a Greek poet, born in Athens in 1987. He is the author of two poetry collections: Decalcomania (Entypois, 2017) and Just don’t bring anyone home (Thraca, 2021).
“The first one who, having fenced a plot of
Land, thought to say: this is mine, and
Found people naïve enough to
Believe him, is the real founder of the
Jean- Jacques Rousseau
“Discourse on the Origin and
Basis of Inequality Among Men”
We focus on other things
the change of our goals
lignite phase-out in Western Macedonia
This sense that a future belongs to us
Without seeing the stakes
They have struck into
Our inner fields
This land divided
While our hands are drooping, wall calendars
On this bench of the coastal avenue
With the clouds that keep rushing forward
Like dogs on a leash
Becoming lamé streaks
Over the boats on Thermaikos Bay.
Because we can’t imagine
Meetings without rivers
Inside cut trees the game
Of hide and seek
Finding cover at the very moment
We are pushed the one inside the other.
And I see you’re wearing brown
But your chest is not a tree
That one swells more slowly
You won’t hear the panting
The sharp breaths.
Well, I put my arms around you
Not the way you crush a grape in your hands
For some unclear, raging reason
And I give you
The plastic, square pot with the gerbera
It’s a fine cage for a flower.
© Translation from Greek by Lena Kallergi
Published with the permission of Nikolas Koutsodontis