The cloth edge of certainty has shredded down to this: God and love are real, but very far away. If I go to Istanbul, will I return? That is not one of the permitted questions. When I go to Istanbul, how will I bear to return? I could slip into the small streets to the high plain and the Caucasus— It's all alone, the returning, the going. The cloth, a soft holland whose blocks of blue and lemon once cheered me in a skirt, now dries dishes. God and love are very far away, farther even than the mountains in the east.
that the world belongs to a stony-hearted goat-god—
how every time we act, we enact
his vileness; how this is no
ecstasy, just a bad labored joke.
Your body in spasm
longs to strip the flesh, but if you do
there will be nothing left but the busy
bone-clatter of tactics.
I will listen instead to the river,
cold as time, smelling of blood-brown leaves.