Tobi Alfier

The Sadness of Mykonos

Small towns are hard to stay in
when you’ve got a busted heart.
I recall everything—

old photograph hidden in an older
wallet, you standing next to me,
your little niece between us,

all of us wearing bright white,
brighter than the sun piercing
the walls of each house, the church,

bouncing off cobblestoned streets
and starring the windows.
Frozen strawberries and lemonade—

ours spiked, your niece’s pure as newborns.
A canopy of wisteria woven overhead
and music playing from somewhere.

We’ve tried to speak each other’s languages
under mythic blue skies but it’s never to be.
I’m a fool in this town. I know it.

You know it. Wearing your shirt
to understand the language of your skin,
I dive beneath the waves, then pack,

head down in heartache while the breeze
curves through an open window
like a thief stealing all possibility of joy.

You wrote your address on the back
of the photograph.
I can’t even read your writing.

Tobi Alfier is published nationally and internationally. Credits include War, Literature and the Arts, The American Journal of Poetry, KGB Bar Lit Mag, Cholla Needles, Galway Review, The Ogham Stone, Permafrost, Gargoyle, Arkansas Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, and others. She is co-editor of San Pedro River Review (