I am in Kolonaki in The Garden of Reason.

I am imagining Athens.

Dreaming Greece.

I am not alone.

Lethe is with me; Goddess 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.