he was denounced
as exceptionally dangerous
to public
- to the peace
of law-abiding citizens -
at the very time that
- or rather seemingly serious - priests
rather aged
and quite worthy or unworthy of respect
the memory
of great naval commanders
of Salamis
with the memory of
Miaoulis, Kanaris, Tombazis, Lazaros Koundouriotis
and Isidore Ducasse*

they seized him
at dawn
bound his hands behind him
and frogmarched him
like a relic
like a virgin slender
and white
by the name of Maria
who was weaving dentelle
of rare beauty
- dentelle like my painting -
in the shade of
the forest
of the mountain
and of the verdant

they cast him
- the women told me -
into a conservatory
with red flowers
with red velvet
at the windows
and old furniture
though clean
with the lamp
the glass of the lamp
since it was
- again the women said -
Saturday night
before daybreak
on Sunday

Saturday night
Sunday morning

through the door
appeared the sea
- a stretch of azure
sea -
the steps rose high
and sorrowfully I named
my heart
at regular intervals - or rather irregular ones -
horse-owning Hector

while Hecuba
- in that case -
was the great
the terrible shadow
my brain

*comte de Lautreamont

Translated by David Connolly

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