The World In Return
The kingdom is collapsing inwards and tears down history as it falls.
We hear the vacant space where our language was kept; the absence
Growls as if it remembers once being full.
Where was Aleksandar when Macedonia was partitioned?
When the body of our nation began to disintegrate into a whisper?
In a statue: sitting.
We tried to resurrect an idol and instead felt the thrust of a spike.
The millennia have caught up with us. We hold the hilt of a sword
In our mouths; it prods at the heart.
The conqueror remains speechless–
What little has survived.
The only legends left are kept alive by kisses to the cheek.
You and Dedo, in the morning, tenderly cutting bread, each
Slice a pact between grain/water/soul
Dedo picked up five jars of ajvar at the market last
Week. You brought him your good feta, the one that transforms
Years into specks of salt. Salt is soul/
The garnish on the Holy Grail/unimaginable opulence.
And you both return
To the mountain’s lap. Hang peppers to dry
In Dedo’s stomach/the capsaicin in his cells solidifies to bronze.
If we are truly barbaric, let us be fierce now inside our own bodies.
Baba is late
But she arrives on the low tide/when the lake contracts
Its arms and the snakes are left without cover.
She is plump as the grape leaves she stuffs, brimming
With rice/meat/renewal. Her bones
Rebuild by the supple strength of apricots and figs.
In the orchard, she remembers how to stand.
Mother, I will raise a village
In my heart until the last house empties. I am gorging
On the harshest ends of your voice,
Running my tongue across the tree line
Of my teeth to cradle every remnant of thyme.
The vineyard draws me a bath/all the lambs sing.
We have always been our own liberation.
Tiara Dinevska-McGuire is a first-generation Macedonian-American. She holds a BFA in Writing, Literature and Publishing from Emerson College. Her work was first published by The Common. Currently, she works as a middle school educator in Cleveland, Ohio.
Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user vesnamarkovska.