Friday, May 27, 2016

Carl Boon - Two Poems

The News From Aleppo

Walking the mosque wall
where her father fell
to shrapnel, Malek,
the girl they call Angel,
imagines the Mediterranean.
Green expanses, dolphins,
islands free of screaming.
She would like to have her baby
there, to soothe its belly
and shoulders, to feed it
as seven clouds move east.

Sadri the Bookseller
on the mosque steps bristles.
Malek comes close to smell
the ink on his fingers,
which reminds her
of her father, and to smell
the cherry tobacco in his pipe.
What’s left of her home
is a moonstruck wall
and piles of debris.

The Russian bombs
fall when they are sleeping,
she and the baby inside her.
Mother sleeps late,
thinking of orange groves,
her brother’s bicycle
propped against the gate.
The mornings were sunnier
then, with her mother’s kitchen
calling her for lunch
and the men crossing
the road to pray.

See My Heart

Gone save the shadow
of her hair between the hills,

she left me with a fragment
of a song, something she heard

in a Kadıköy bar one night
late with ferries and peddlers:

“See my heart
decorated like a grave.”

I’ve forgotten the wording,
but not her, who stood always

with her face to the sea-
wind, her denim ambition,

her legs stretched
on the boulders, a flower

in her hand. The lover says
to the lover: you will glimpse

a remnant of me in memory;
you will writhe and sink

into the stone-heart
of being, but never die.

The heart only, painted,
mishandled, terrifying—

crushed into bunting, black
ribbon, and a broken song.

Carl Boon lives and works in Izmir, Turkey. His poems appear in dozens of magazines, most recently Two Thirds North, Jet Fuel Review, Blast Furnace, and the Kentucky Review.

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