Danae Sioziou - THE MOST HANDSOME MAN ON EARTH

If grandpa hadn’t been the most handsome man on Earth
maybe I wouldn’t have fallen in love with him at first sight
and if I hadn’t fallen in love with him maybe disaster wouldn’t
have struck.
If he hadn’t thought I had taken after his gaze
as he had proudly declared on the day of my birth
maybe I wouldn’t have inherited his eyes and his strong heart
his taste in hats and women
and maybe he wouldn’t have postponed for five years his death
if I had been a boy maybe he would have made me, too, solve mathematical problems
instead of teaching me good manners, how to climb,
the reasons for loving the piano
and had he known I understood he would have never told me
all those bitter stories he thought I’d forget
if my grandpa hadn’t been this brave and handsome man
with strong legs who climbs and fixes
up and down this earth until his last breath
maybe he, too, would grow a moustache as a statement
maybe he would have led a double life, become a bigamist and birthed more children
we’d have completely lost track and count
if he had a rough heart and soft hands, meaning the reverse
maybe he wouldn’t have allowed me to jump up and down on his bed
to caress his belly
maybe he wouldn’t have had a fear of surgery
and we’d have lived happily ever after
if grandpa hadn’t been one of those
that passed the borders
our graves now elsewhere ruined
if he didn’t dance, if he didn’t make cream for dessert,
if he got stingy over the rides in the amusement park or the bicycle
he wouldn’t have been my first love
and my first death
he wouldn’t have been the most handsome man on earth
I would now have a hope.

Translated from the Greek by Panagiotis Gavriiloglou