the luminous beaches

A Small Invitation
By Yannis Ritsos
Translated from the Greek by Kimon Friar

Come to the luminous beaches─he murmured to himself
here where the colors are celebrating─look─
here where the royal family never once passed
with its closed carriages and its official envoys.

Come, it won’t do for you to be seen─he used to say─
I am the deserter from the night
I am the breacher of darkness
and my shirt and pockets are crammed with sun.

Come─it’s burning my hands and my chest.
Come, let me give it to you.

And I have something to tell you
which not even I must hear.

Athens, 1938