The other thief
VERYTHING was tangible. What’s the point hiding, pretending they weren’t. Two plus two makes four. You acted, you received. I could see him before me hanging from the cross with his flesh torn by the nails and his body weight. The same with us, only more delicate, weaker, hence with a shorter life, with his death more certain. What’s the use of words born by fear or futile hope? Tricks, shadows, fantasies born by our inability to accept the inevitable. Paradise and kingdom of the heavens… What heavens when your flesh is in excruciating pain and your breathing has already become hard. The only reality is death. Can you escape from this wooden thing? From the nails and wounds? Here you go. You cannot. Nobody can.
Look, the other one has lost his mind from pain and fear. He clung on his pipe dream. He already sees other worlds and is awake dreaming of a second life. But I always had as my guide this clear mind, which never denies me. I see clearly. I see a hole in the ground and the maggots squirming restlessly. I see the black and bottomless chasm, Nothing.
Source: First edited
Giorgis Manoussakis (Chania, 1933-2008). Poet, author, essay writer. He studied Philology in the University of Athens and taught in Secondary Education. He published the following poetry collections: Monologues (Chania, 1967), The Body of Silence (Chania, 1970) etc. His last book is his posthumously published novel The Volunteer (Kichli, 2008).
Translated from the Greek by
Vassilis Manoussakis (Athens, 1972). Poet, short-story writer, translator. He studied English Language and Literature. He currently teaches at the University of Peloponnese in Kalamata.