A land extracted from heaven
as sweet tea from the broth of apples
served in the marketplace where ornate
rugs pile corners high and hang to hide bare walls

as the blackened veil of a woman shrouded

intricate patterns knotted by nimble fingers
woven expression of the hidden face
and the chant falls across Constantine's ancient land
breaking Istanbul to her knees in prayer

silent splashes of woman who once swam in
waters of Justinian's underground palace
naked as myself
treading bare feet across a soft sea of prayer rugs

under the dome of the mosque

eyes above the veil gaze upon my immodesty
as candied tea burns sweet down my tongue and throat
flowing bitter Bosporus blood
separating wound of east and west

by Lindsay Nelson

Contributors retain all rights to their work. ©1996 Kaleidoscope. Write Place. Volume 7.


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