The Invisible speaks

You said you wanted to hear all of the

grotesquely fascinating details and clichés

Like the bright red inside of the earliest morning, so early

it’s almost still night

And the abysmal bed of wet and dirt,

so dirty it’s almost hard and then

her pure cunning, so bad it’s almost good

You wanted to hear of whacking

The fishnets catching putrid rejects

Their gutted dead eyes and shiny gills

and blackened holes

gasping, rubbing, clutching

But she

She told you of compulsion

because she forgot everything else

in the numbness under covers of skin

(she said it’s not really happening)


The time it took to wait and how

she always counted everything

so nothing bad could happen

(not really)


And she never could stop

the loneliness fading her

eyes with every new layer

make up and invisibility

(even there)



Suddenly one night when the rain tattoos

the streets with unsealed meaning,

the skin remembers you like ink

How you were my home and how

your body was the house I lived in

This imaginary world comes crashing and

I’m a ghost chasing weight in words again-

A stone heavy enough to carry!

So I say it out loud like you made me,

I touch myself like you did but harder

And it comes undone, becomes clear:

You only exist in these fragments

But you never ever disappear,

and anyway

There are no homes here

I say it’s a disease to walk these streets

with pockets heavy of tales

and only mythical remedies

I say home is where I lay my stone

to rest it,

like a hat.


The burning bright skin of Acropolis

is raised heavenward and pocked

with marble pillars

on the wooded slopes of the nymphs


Zeus roaring seafoam laughter

carried up on his breath of salty winds

is eroding everything to dust


I carefully step into the blinding white ruins

on top of the hill. Lost in skeletal remnants

of everything that’s missing; Athena’s statue,

the baby I carried. Living, breathing Gods!


And I imagine rituals and past lives;

A priestess with golden snakes slithering up her sacred body

The man is under her on the rubble floor, she devours him

with flame like eyes and rituals from Egypt


In their image, a kiss for prayer, I lift it to the sky


Later that night, back in my room in Makrigianni district

on the vinyl sofa in Tony’s hotel, I make love to my husband

for the first time in months


And I can feel someone new take root and start growing

Even though I’m too wary to believe it


Erika Kamlert has previously been published in printed Swedish literary journals and anthologies and will be featured in the forthcoming in Ink, Sweat & Tears online. She has just started submitting poetry in English.

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