Yiannis in his bar is restless; counting covers,
cradling a cappuccino, he watches
the impossibly taut, tanned staff make money
for him in accents from the Steppes.
He stares at a waitress’s legs, remembers wild
nights, drinking with cockney spivs,
dancing film-star syrtaki with peroxide women;
flips worry beads like an impatient groom.
Yiannis lights up his one for the night; rests, where
old men have smoothed the pebble seat
shiny as an ossuary. Eclectic House from his bar,
soundtracks the mute satellite football;
Yiannis conjures the punch of rock ‘n’ roll, the smell
of patchouli and lust in the backstreets.
Bells toll from the Panagia; incense coils from a censer,
the choir chant the Kontakion of the Dead:
Yiannis recalls village girls in their innocence,
forsees his spotless wine-washed bones.
He spits and flicks his butt into the churchyard:
neither sickness, nor sorrow, nor sighing.
by Patrick Lodge, from Shenanigans (£8.99, £3.99 Kindle)
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