At the Cypriot Rock Bar
By Maria-Sophia Christodoulou
I love how the flies hit the camera –
baby ghosts in the dark. A haze
of smoke and dust sits with us
like the village male scent:
nicotine, whiskey, heavy sun, copied cologne.
My cousin tells me the singer
only writes in the Cypriot dialect.
I’m old enough to appreciate the politics.
I understand his song: children
dancing in a field – but not children, men
who long to be themselves again.
In this bar, death is cherished,
is marriage to the past.
The singer knows this, grows his beard
in case his country calls him to church
to sing prayers for the departed.
I hum for the men close to the end, watch
the women light their husbands’ cigarettes.