Poem by J*me

This poem arrived in my Gmail inbox this morning. I love getting poetry in the mail, especially from friends far away…

By J*me

A voice snaking from the water of radiators,
chasing the cars veining through Ankara
over Bir Lira! Ohn Lira! in the Markets,
salting the skin of oranges and leaks,
through the hatred of tourists
in the hearts that need them for bread,
over the panicked fashions of Kizzalay,
the worn colors and shattered concrete of Ulus,
wiping the brows of children playing rough,
chocolate on their hands.
The hearts here are sugared.

A Bulgarian’s lips teach me gypsy words.
I am given a CD of traditional Jewish music
but play MC5 at noon on Sundays.
Who the hell do I think I am?
Bulgarian eyes require 2 picks to unlock.
I put away my tools.
I will not steal from kind moments.
The dance floor for language between us is small.
I will sing my apologies.
I won’t abide anything
I cannot do right by.

The absorbency of skin.
The stirring of air
or the licking of lips.
Taking a hand in yours
or a phone call from overseas.
All forms of distance.

A friend arrives in a letter,
plans for milkshakes in the summer
are good labor for this season of rain,
layered clothes,
lost inside of buildings that leak.
I wish I didn’t know any better.
I would drown in your hearts,
use a diamond pick for your eyes.
Teaching English feels hollow.
(Please don’t use this lesson to acquire wealth.
Instead, ask for someone’s name using
their mother tongue.)

I can’t help you.
I am dangerous to your assumptions.
Listen to the walls of your city
echoing God.


~ by realsupergirl on March 27, 2005.

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