At The Afyon Train Station by Cemal Süreya

Remember the little girl at the Afyon train station, you know,
She had removed her shoes as she boarded the train;
Recall the Varto earthquake,
The carton of powdered milk and the bra
Sent as aid from the West.

The man had whitewashed his walls with the milk powder,
His wife had kept the bra, not knowing what it was
She was going to use them as earmuffs in winter;
My God, were these really your childhood days?

Crowds sitting outside on doorsteps
I wish I loved you only for this.

translated by Omer Kursat

Want by Cemal Süreya

My breath is a red bird
In the auburn skies of your hair
I take you in my bosom
Your legs extend beyond description

My breath becomes a red horse
I can tell, as my face is burning
We are deprived, our nights are too short
We need to make love, galloping

translated by Omer Kursat

that arrow

one more night
on the couch
an empty glass
on the floor
and those wolves
prowling the corners
of the room
and you
gone clear
out of my life
leaving that arrow
stuck in my heart

my brain stopped

you walked
into my dream
in those 3 inch
red high heels
flashing that smile
that stunned
the world
and before I knew it
my brain stopped
and was not
available
upon waking
the rest of the day

Tune: “The Beautiful Lady Yu” by Li Yü

When will the last flower fall, the last moon fade?
So many sorrows lie behind.
Again last night the east wind filled my room—
O gaze not on the lost kingdom under the bright moon.

Still in her light my palace gleams as jade
(Only from bright cheeks beauty dies).
To know the sum of human suffering
Look at this river rolling eastward in the spring.

translated by Cyril Birch

your words

didn’t quite catch
your words
that night
as you woke me
from my slumber
on the couch
the record still turning
on the turntable
the dog looking up
as I struggled
to my feet
my mind a haze
your words lost
like water
slipping through my fingers
like you
fading gradually
into the night
those words
still nagging
my memory
decades later
ten thousand miles
away

to ride the wind: for Lucy

her eyebrows white
like a season of snow
melting in her eyes
when she smiles
her dimples tell
of hearing the wind
come over the mountains
she is so soft
like a cloud
floating on high
oh to drink
her melted snow
as she closes her eyes
and we ride the wind
carrying us far
on her cloud
over the mountains
that ascend so tall
separating us
now