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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.

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