Dionissios Kollias

Propagated Roses Surrounded the Home



Mom, I fell in love.

I kept it from you. I watched the ceiling drop,

with a dry tongue and two glasses of sauvignon blanc.


An obsession with hearing him say it too.

I watched him undress.


Those ancient lamentations, the offering of bitter Greek coffee,

I kept you company. I held a bright-white lily.


Mom, I fell in love,

past-tense, extraneous. A worn-out canvas heel pressed down,

the easy access to something sturdy, something to absorb.


I put on a wig, danced on the veranda.


Barefoot on the hot tiles, it was my birthday!


Gabriel’s painted face looked back at me,

empty of messages. I painted stars under every doorway.


Inhaled the sky’s orange blossoms, walked over broken sidewalks along the highway.


The gas station light directly through the window, it didn’t matter.

In the yellow room, standing still. I should have.




By candlelight,

the sound of a hundred footsteps across wet pavement,


that prayed to God for just an hour.

We let go of the Greek aristocracy,


four years ago

when all escaped, higher.


All for a tinge of blue.

And I liked it.


An hour passed without moving back to ancestry.

We climbed down the mountain and made the valley our home.


A leather trunk held blankets and tradition,

tossed from the balcony,

it had no monetary value.        My mother lost it all.


I told her it was time to go.

Another wet rag, grey-water,

the stains remained.


I saw the harbor with all the yachts and it took me 15 days to cry;

diachronic and unwashed.


We removed the palm trees,

one by one. It was still a city. It maintained the residue.


And I slept in a leather workplace,

two floors above the dirt of Athens,

the broken terracotta vases, the glass turned back to sand.


I left after the summer celebrations

with one last bite of a ripened tomato.


DIONISSIOS KOLLIAS‘ work has appeared in No, Dear Magazine, Hobart, Landfill Journal, and elsewhere. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.