His flip-flops trod happily through
Athens' scalding summer streets
Eager to show her the city's treasures
Within the maze of traffic and high rise hotels
Scrunch Scrunch they went across marble stones
As they trudged up to greet the colossal Parthenon
Gracious amig heat and smog;
They flapped beside the clicking of her high-heeled shoes,
One step ahead, in full charge of the flight plan
And they were not timid among the crowd,
Never lost their course
As they flipped and flopped their way
Into her sticky heart.
"I used to pray to find a girl like you from that window"
They took the pot-holed highway into the hills
Where the smell of ouzo permeated the air, rose
Into monumental oaks which shaded sitters at crossroads
To the church at Agiassos full of incense and incantations.
She kept her hands in the pockets of her jeans
And would not kiss pictures of the saints.
As they drank their sodas in the square
A wedding party descended, brightening the hill;
Hand in hand the bride and groom glowed love
"It should be us" he said
Old women dressed in black cottons chewed pine resin gum
And the men swung worry beads 'round their thumbs
There was no stopping the Pegasus feet that summer
From mauve twilight suffusing Plomari's harbor
Alive with smells of kelp and souvlaki and conversation
To Eressos' beach where friendly ripples purled
Making dull thuds on the hull of their red and blue boat
Easing back to shore to scores of bathers
In shades of tan who did not know them
Perhaps whitewashed villages with lemon-scented courtyards,
Hanging gourds and oleanders perfuming
Mother-of-pearl light urged him to say
"You are my eyes"
Where do you go these days, O Flip-Flops?
What directions do you take among all those
Postcard towns, crumbling castles and azure bays?
Do you search for ghosts among broken plates
And the taste of retsina at tavernas on your way
To fragrant hills fraught with tangled heather
Sprinkled with petrified stones of gold and green--?
Is that music you hear playing through Aleppo pines
Or is it yearning
That keeps the melody returning
As your outlines stay pressed upon her stony heart,
Fossils from an age gone by.