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.
English as a Second Language
That voice—from the tv—that voice, thick smoky cheese, or, no— dark as burnt flan, sweet, venison-sweet in the heavy smoke of a tavern hearth, and hot as brandy. I served that voice for months, in a theater on 13th near Third where losers are the ones who crack first. I gave you azured hours, nights, and you placed your soul, pretty as a dead mouse, at my feet. Gutturals, the candles guttering backstage. Your voice went everywhere you dared not put your hands.