translated by the poet and Stefanos Basigkal

Just before lowering his bow
the violinist sees his mother
straightening his collar before the parade
His fingers hurt
like they did after practice
but quickly they break free and warm –
they know no other body

Now he doesn't hear
the audience's cough
gradually stopping – doesn't see
my neighbour's programme gently
gliding to the floor – the eyelids
lifting up, the eyes
that hurt on
the shiny surface of the violin
while he sees off
the final phrase

His eyes hurt
as his mother's hand
pushes him gently
onto the glare of the wet
flag-decorated street

  To sossivio (The lifesaver), 2008 – Appeared in Hotel Amerika, vol. 13 (Winter 2015).