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for Mehmet Yiasin

Because I talk of roses,
of the diffusion of light,
of the impossibility of love,
of our transitory lives
do not think, friends in the north
that what happened in 1974
does not spread like a stain on my life
every day.

The moon rising like a water melon slice from the sea
and my dead mother on our veranda on Famagusta beach
calling us to get out of the water
I saw a painting she had done, the other day,
on a wall in a taverna in the Karpass
a taverna consisting of stolen chairs, stolen tablecloths, stolen doors,
stolen doorhandles.
-It’s my mother’s, I said to the man, here is her name.
-But it’s mine now said the man, who came from where the sun rises.
(this is how his wife described him).
-It’s mine now he said, ganimet,
This is how they call it in Turkish.

Istanbul bookfare, Oct. 2005


Looking at the street map
of Nicosia and its suburbs
Fuat Paşa Street ends on Dionysou and Herakleitou
Defne Yüksel on Hermes street
Yenice Şafak on Leontiou Mahaira
in the vicinity of Flatro Bastion
on old maps the river cut through the town
but Savorniano, the Venetian, changed the flow
to fill the moat with water.
There on Sundays the domestic servants
from Sri Lanka spread out their shawls
and eat together.
The palm trees remind them of home.