Mika in Edinburgh 2009 – Mika in Sofia 2013 by Penel Alden

My boots on these cobbled streets,
Pressed hard against stone between
The little crisscrossed valleys,
Each narrowing towards a center,
Displaying some famed socialist revolutionary.

Before here in these Sofian squares,
It was there in that veined Scottish city,
All hills and vanishing Christian temples.
Both landscapes
Covered in snow.

When I saw you here,
So suddenly, an apparition,
Eating the images of women’s bodies,
Paper flesh pictured in magazines,
Displaying yourself, bra burning…


Edinburgh’s tight hidden streets twist,
Climbing closes under each other,
Rough-hewn stone curved senseless,
Wild and unplanned, a kind of ecstasy.
Our hands also pressed, climbing under…

There is a joy on my skin.
Here, Balkan city. My fingers to the winter canopy.
But the streets once closed and wound,
Are forced open. Straight, unforgiving.
Ghost of Serdica these two impossible maps.


We hide our hearts here,
Choking our desires,
Extinguish their drumming
In the snow which never ceases falling.


Photo by Roan Lavery on Unsplash

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