A Rough Pillow by Oktay Rıfat

Where were we? Here were we?—Now it’s impossible to tell.
It was a rough pillow we shared!
It was us or perhaps someone else who was like us,
The fruit of our love, the immortal child.

Soaking wet from the rain of those dreams,
Our coming smeared with sticky blood
Will never go out of my mind,
The gentle pulling out like swimming
In the clear sunny waters of the days,
Turning into ourselves from our mother’s womb,
That first scream, that first blue, that first breath of air.

translated by Ruth Christie & Richard McKane

old pictures

there you stand
bent over slightly
your hands
on the dog’s neck
you both looking
at me
camera in hand
taking this picture
which now sits
on a bookshelf
in my den
a stick lying
at the dog’s paws
that I
most likely
use for play
with him
both of you gone
relegated to a memory
of a time
when we were young
and not yet wise
to how it would
eventually end
he to ashes
in an urn
on my desk
and you
lost to time
and old pictures
and me
with this ache
in my heart
still