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Monday, June 09, 2008

Bosphorus Aficionados

Bosphorus Aficionados

Istanbul is the city
That never lays in its bed,
Decked in bright colours
Of the red, to the white,
To the haunting hues
Of the Bosphorus Strait,
Made of glass,
Made of plastic,
Made from didactic
Hands, hard to pass by
Its hotchpotch sights
Without dizzying the eye,
She sits to take in the view.

Out with the sun
Come those addicts
Of its concrete shores,
A battle line coming nearer,
Its water stores
Are full of eerie drums
And a concoction of scents,
A travelling reflection of the sky
Lying clumsily drawn,
A zigzag sway, dividing
The squeezed-up soil
Into bits of lumpy crescents,
Drifting closer,
Yet moving away.

Swinging from port to port
On broad-butted boats,
Bosphorus bohemians
Eat jellylike confectionery
Dusted with sugar
As the breath of the sea
Hits the back of their necks.
It's deadly.
The Turks eat more honey
And use more silk
Than any people on the planet,

She hears one of them say.

Or those military American boys
Smoking some fine cheroots*
With their bottle-blonde girlfriends,
Easterner and Westerner
Joined by tobacco,
A way of communicating,
Fish caught from the waterway
Squirming and pouting,
Embarrassed she turns
From the tribal display.

And groups of covered women,
Fake reproductions
Of Catholic nuns, stamped
"Made in Islam",
Hiding from society
In the name of God
That put them there,
They rustle in unison
Like malevolent black crows,
Hidden behind layers
Of smooth black silk
She wonders what bruises they wear.

*A cigar cut square at both ends

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