Dean Kostos

Issue #
February 18, 2013

Turkish Man with Cinnamon Eyes

                                                  Whenever I meet with natural beauty / I know
                                              once again human life today / must and will be /
                                                                                  changed. —
Nazim Hikmet

Crossing Queensborough Bridge, I dream
your gallery: Gaea, Arete, Aphrodite—

portraits of goddesses propped against rails.
With blazing frankincense grains, you singe

features into olive-wood slabs.
The cinnamon shading

of their faces is the cinnamon eclipse
of your eyes. You tell me

the Turks of Central Asia fed the tongues
of larks to children too timid

to speak. Those children then spoke in poems.
I recite Human Landscapes from My Country,

adding how I admire Hikmet &
how all poets are exiles. You declaim

“Penelope’s Despair,” by Ritsos, shadows
of wings tangling with her tapestry’s

red & green threads, her loom
a cage she willingly reenters each night.

I say the world is text & we read it.
The world is history & we bleed it.

I say, I’m unable to love. Love me.
We stand above the bridge, peering down,

the East River rippling below us—
hair of a deity about to breathe.

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