Issue Twenty-Seven - Winter 2016

Risking Arrest in Turkey

By Carl Boon

There are one thousand people
in the Kozzy mall tonight.
They are buying beer, notebooks,
parsnips, tablecloths, underwear,
vacuum cleaners, barstools,
and kitchen sinks. They are poor
and not poor, they sleep here
and there. They will commute
to jobs tomorrow in blue ties
tattered on edges and blue skirts
with the hems falling down.
They are neither happy nor sad.
They are somewhere in-between.
Some of their mothers are dying
from cancer; some of their mothers
watch President Tayyip Erdoğan
kissing children with braided hair
and bangs on TV. He is a rich man.
He shops in other places. He knows
the value of a dollar. He lives
in a palace. I live in a two-bedroom
apartment and teach poems
to beautiful people. I write poems
for beautiful girls with raindrops
in their hair. I buy parsnips
and sometimes kitchen sinks.
I don’t have anything to say
to President Tayyip Erdoğan,
but no girl strolls tonight
from the bathroom with a towel
around her hips for him.
Mr. President: I am sexy. You are not.
I am loved. You are feared.
I write poems. You write none.
I go to sleep in a very small bed.
This cannot be called a crime.

Copyright Boon 2016