To my ex

To my ex,

I like to think that I am exiled from you, it hurts less to know you did it on purpose but you didn’t; you failed me, along with others, thousands of others. You had always been the pinnacle of the world, you shined with gold coated pillars and breathed the salty air of the seas while sailing on your stark wooden ships. You let others feel your wind of intelligence, superiority, pioneering. Now you’ve lost all that. You lag behind your so-called masters, you used to obey them like a dog. I admit that you are getting a bit more resilient now, you try to keep your head high, I admire that for a change. But you’ve done wrong, oh you have done wrong. Others will tell me that it’s not your fault, you were manipulated, exploited, stolen, bought, sold, bribed, killed. You were killed. They killed you. But who is they? Where did they come from? Why did they do this? What were they thinking? What do they think now? Now that we are exiled, now that we are sold, now that we are lost, now that we are away. Now that we cry, now that we reminisce, now that all we have is memories. Why don’t you take me back? Why don’t you kick them out? I’m starting to forget how your winter smells, you had little daisies grow in between the cracks of your hills. I could see the snow covering your holy mountain peaks.

I remembered when you saw me fall, I did it many times. I bled. But you were there, and you helped me. I washed it off with your water, healed it with your medicine, let it breath in your tender wind. I let it heal with your time. But what time is going to heal this? What foreign air will breeze over my wounds, what strange medicine will heal my scars, what water is going to wash my pain away? How will I heal when I am not with you? But I can’t come back, I have a future. A good future, what future could you give me? I have money, you never had money; you spent it all in poison. I have love now, a new love. You should have seen her, she is fair with golden hair; just like your old gold in your forsaken temples, now in museums. She walks like the wind, just like the wind that your ships sailed on, she is beautiful. Just like how you used to be. She is my new love, and she tells me she wants to meet you. She hears all about you. How you raised me, you nurtured me, you played with me, you showed me what beauty looks like. You taught me the tastes of the most extravagant food, you taught me how to think, read, spell, add, subtract, divide and multiply. You introduced me to good friends, best friends, immortal friends. You kept me warm under your sun. You taught me patience, you taught me how to navigate through your alleys, speak your language, read your books. I miss you, I miss you so much!

And those pranksters, those cheats, those murderers, they raped you. They took you all for themselves, and we thought it was okay. We thought that you were just being wild, that you were not sick. You were not getting heavier and heavier with your list of lies. Your secret deals, your spending. You spent and spent and spent but they made you do it. You are right, I shouldn’t be mad at you. They used you and they ruined you for all of us. But how can I forgive you… Look at you. You used to be unbound, now you’re shackled. You used to invent, now you destroy. You used to guide, now you corrupt.  And you can play that smile, you can pull it off. Show everyone on TV how ready for summer you are, how your hotels are open with happy owners twirling their mustaches and stroking their beards while they prepare the lunch tables. How your warm, endless beaches reflect the sunlight. Show us all that good stuff. But you don’t fool me. We both know how the curtains have fallen, your people are hostages, you have the timer in your hand and you count. Count until the bomb explodes. What will you do, will you set them free? Why do you keep straining them? They gave enough, they still love you, you don’t have to do this. You don’t want to make them like us. They are not the enemy, they are. The ones in your big building by the big square. You remember the square? Where you signed your constitution? Where the Nazis paraded before you slit their throats in the middle of the night. It’s where you burnt your Christmas tree. Why did you do that anyways? What did you want to prove? That you don’t need it? That’s not anarchy, that’s not a revolt, that’s not demonstration, that’s not anything! That’s a shame. Shame on you.

But they… They ought to be lynched, while breathing. They ought to be buried, alive. They ought to be dismembered, while they watch. But not killed, their punishment will be the pain. The pain they gave us. The pain they gave me. The pain they gave to you. I wish I could fight for you, I wish I could save you, but I’m not ready, not yet. But I hope someday I will return, forever. And when I will, I hope that I can give you a hug. I hope that I can swim in your turquoise sea, climb your sacred mountains, touch your moist soil and be with my friends. I hope you give me a warm welcome, I hope that the tavli is going to be set on the table along with two glasses of ouzo and a plate of fresh fish. I hope your arms will be open, because mine will be. They still are.

You might be my ex, but you will always be my first.


An immigrant

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