He stepped on the beach

for the first time

in ages -

Seagulls watched him.

Aroma of algae.

The burning, saline Southern wind.

Odysseus came down

from the raft murmuring

something to himself

in an almost extinct dialect.

He put up the oars, a few fish,

to the music of a loudspeaker

versus a salmon sunset.

Afterwards, he saw the weak lights

flickering in the town houses.

A sea-breeze of marijuana reached his nostrils.


Roaring laughter.

None of the fishermen recognized him.

Penelope had never existed.

That was not his legend.

Ithaca had never existed.

Odysseus turned to the beach without history

and said nothing:

he lit a cigarette and contemplated

the absurd dark blue of the nocturnal sea

versus the untiring white lines

of the breaking of the waves.


Rodrigo Garcia Lopes (Translated by Marco Alexandre de Oliveira)


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