The Girl from Patitiri

George S. Harris & Sons, "Olive, from the Fruits series (N12) for Allen & Ginter Cigarettes Brands," commercial color lithograph, 1891, The Jefferson R. Burdick Collection, Gift of Jefferson R. Burdick, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Slicing tuna skins pickling eyes in ouzo–
comb of Kalamata olives; cubes of feta
resembled plastic dice without any spots.
The girl from Patitiri carried buckets of water
on the back of a mule through villages
in nectarine and sea hawk green.

She kept a dozen black kittens
left black flowers on the garden’s wooden
chest for Poseidon; Suckled a god’s blood
from a rectangle obelisk smelt fresh pine
with madness and mint. She hung a red dress
over the hollow guts of an olive tree
collected the island’s souls that would wander–
leading them to prayer on the smallest chapel
on sleepy Patitiri; its cross coloured
like the shine of fresh Melitzana.

We question is the girl really the Goddess Adicia?
this girl who sliced tuna skins and pickled eyes in ouzo!
I saw her in town today sipping a chilled Retsina
while she danced sensually to the sound of Cuba.


MATT DUGGAN lives in Bristol in the U.K. His poems have appeared in many journals, such as Ghost City Review, Osiris Poetry Journal, The Blue Nib, Into the Void, and The Journal. In 2015, Matt won the Erbacce Prize for Poetry with his first full collection Dystopia 38.10 (erbacce-press). In 2017, he won the Into the Void Poetry Prize.  He has two new chapbooks available: One Million Tiny Cuts (Clare Songbirds Publishing House) and A Season in Another World (Thirty West Publishing House). His second full collection Woodworm (Hedgehog Poetry Press) will be published in Spring 2019.

 


Featured image: George S. Harris & Sons, “Olive, from the Fruits series (N12) for Allen & Ginter Cigarettes Brands,” commercial color lithograph, 1891, The Jefferson R. Burdick Collection, Gift of Jefferson R. Burdick, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

 

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