the garden of reason

I am in Kolonaki in The Garden of Reason.
I am imagining Athens.
Dreaming Greece.

I am not alone.
Lethe is with me; Godess of Forgetting.
She is sifting the soot from the Easter candles
And the ashes of roses.
She says she is making a pigment for my paintings,
Which are filled with remembrance and regret.

Outside the Garden of a reason
Is myth visible.
And chaos shadows the abandoned houses
Lit by a wintry sun.

In an empty house on the airport road
An estate agent shows me around.
A pan sits on a dismantled stove.
And above the bed are the bridal crowns
Still nailed to a plaster wall.

Outside the Garden of Reason
People sleep on the pavement,
In the shadow of Evangelismos Hospital.

In a downtown cafe a kid tries to sell me a wilted rose.
I have no change to give her so, later, I go after her.
I look for her in the market.
But all I see are the fur and jewellery shops of Plaka.

Outside the Garden of Reason
A couple are begging on the Athens Metro.
She is playing an accordion and I think of my father,
He holds out a baby and a plastic cup.
I don’t ask the question ‘how much is enough?’.

I am in Kolonaki in the Garden of Reason
I am not alone.
Persephone is with me,
Seated on her little stone.

We are untangling memory from desire.
We are awaiting the bitter oranges
of another Athenian Spring.