An Old Street in Pera
Birds take to the air above Hagia Irene
Stalks of grass behind their ears.
At last you’re here I say to myself
Here where the roads of an old map meet.
A cat stares at you wide-eyed
And the sky is as low as it gets.
A woman is trying to cross the street. I think of you,
And say the neck I’ve never seen is terribly thin.
Peddlers, soldiers, knife grinders, pass me by
And the sullen faced grave diggers of our world.
A voice says we’re with you on the same peninsula,
Then vanished into an old Pera street.
So it is every night I tread an old street in Pera,
every night your mud on my soles.
For you my unwavering bell tower
You my weightlessness for you
For you, you are my covered bazaar my dead end street
For you my sleepless my Chechen fly
For you my twenty-third year
For you my amazon my white skin
(Translation: George BESSO)