Not unlike Provence, this sheen off a sea
ferries gouge jagged furrow wakes into,
a warped metal sheet whose irridescence
showers blind spots among protein floaters,
so radiant the glare. Or the graveyard
at Aşiyan Asri, a real Père Lachaise,
its luminaires – among them poets
I shall never read – mouldering under slabs
whose script needs parsing to comprehend.
Now here at Bešiktaš at the bar my gaze
falls upon the gauzy film raki sloughs off
crisp facets of ice, billowing veils within
a tumbler in whose cloud can be divined
not diaphanous future but past murk.
Suppose raki had flowed before pastis,
the Bosphorus come before original Seine.
Would I not then be able to decrypt
those epitaphs graven on tumbled stones?
Since our exact latitude and longitude are now inscribed into the meta code beneath every text we write and in any case are just a hop away through the apps, it would be supernumerary to provide detailed information about the cemetery in Istanbul where this poem begins. I could also try to place it in time, determining the UT coordinates for that day in August in 2012. Time, though, is more fungible than than space. Why bother? Raki at Bešiktaš belongs in a set with, among other poems, Pastis at Bandol. From Turning toward the Light.