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Wednesday, September 07, 2005


by Kiki Denis

There was a time that words were heavy like stones and guns
Missiles made of iron hanging off red tongues
Those were the times we were swallowing saliva made out of bullets
And the intensity of our voices was like the bells of war.
There was a time that father and mother worked at the farm
Wearing clothes made of sheets and underpants made of pillowcases.
While we played with the mud and ate only once a day
As tears of joy were dripping off our cheeks when we shared a piece of candy.
There was a time that our nights were illuminated with stars
When mother squeezed next to father and warmed her palms in his
When the purpose of breath was more than breathing the body
When we shared stories in bed and giggled out of desperation.
Those were the times that poverty was our war
Violence was hanging off empty spoons
And bloodsheds filled our stomach
Pushing brutally the walls of our emptiness.
And then one day warm bread was placed on the table
And muddy paths were covered with asphalt.
Food sharing stopped and breathing became shallow
Words were light as feathers and spoons heavy like stones.
And for a second we thought that old times were gone.
But then we look outside our window and saw war laying on the neighbor’s yard
Pushing from outside in.

Kiki Denis was born in Thessaloniki, Greece and came to the United States in 1990 to attend Mount Holyoke College where she completed her Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Philosophy. After graduating from Mount Holyoke she lived in England for a couple of years where she completed her Master’s degree in Psychology at the University of Exeter. For the last five years she have been writing short stories and poetry, and working full time on her novel titled The Last Day of Paradise.