Gheith Al-Amine: Four Istanbul Poems

Sebastião Salgado, Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet), Istanbul, Turkey, 1999. Source: artsy.net

WE THE MORTALS

Away from what you leave behind

a five year old Amine in Guatemala

a tormented gaze in Ras Beirut

or bulging eyes missing the ceiling

eyelashes napping for eternity

your destiny awaits you.

Grief for the ones who cared

decomposition for your filaments

calcium your only index.

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𝐹𝑜𝓊𝓃𝒹 Wet-thighed

In the yellow time of pollen, in the blue time of lilacs,

in the green that would balance on the wide green world,

air filled with flux, world-in-a-belly

in the blue lilac weather, she had written a letter:

You came into my life really fast and I liked it.

 

When we let go the basket of the good-luck birds

the sky erupted open in the hail of its libation;

there was a gap and we entered it gladly. Indeed the birds

may have broken the sky and we, soaked, squelched

in the mud of our joy, braided with wet-thighed surrender.

 

In the yellow time of pollen near the blue time of lilacs

there was a gap in things. And here we are.

The sparrows flew away so fast a camera could not catch them.

The monkey swung between our arms and said I am, hooray,

the monkey of all events, the great gibbon of convergences.

 

— from “Totem Poem” by Luke Davies

2004

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