PoetryIssue 20 | May 2014

Gifts: Naxos

by April Lindner

I.
Eggs from a passing stranger:
Three, an awkward handful.
Wet, speckled, grassy,
Each a different shade of cream.
Small still life we take turns bearing.
What can we do in this hungry sun
but leave them here
on a low stone wall, for ghosts
Or maybe goats?

II.
Amygdala says the boy
As he hands us each a soft green node,
One of the many he was smashing with a rock
as we happened past.  And freska
second word we recognize.  He shows us how
to peel back the pillowy shell,
watches as we taste
nutmeat, wet and fresh,
heaps our palms
with more than we can hold.

III.
In this village cemetery,
its gate secured by twisted wire,
we trespass, stepping over graves:
bedsized sandboxes of gravel
cut into marble.

You share what you’ve been told:
when all that’s left is bone
women will come to polish, collect
and cart the rest away, to make
the necessary room.

A shrine for each headboard.
Behind glass, a gold-framed photo
(A solemn teen, or someone’s Yia Yia)
and offerings: icons and sweets,
a lamp, oil, a cigarette lighter

left like a pledge: We will come back.
Meanwhile, bougainvillea spills like blood
sunward, straight from the remains,
what earth gives back in recompense.

About the author

April Lindner backpacked solo across Western Europe when she was 22. Since then, she has returned to Europe seven times, most recently to take part in an Ignatian Pilgrimage across northern Spain, to teach two study tours in Greece, and to research a novel partially set in Italy. April lives in Pennsylvania, and has published two poetry collections and two young adult novels.

Read our current issue:

Poetry

Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok