with a nod to Cyrano de Bergerac

I send my heart out
wrapped in tissue paper
a bow on top
the emotions spring forth
a river overflowing
these feelings I have
when your image appears
on the street before me
the way your eyes shine
when you tell an amusing story
the tilt of your head
when in conversation
your smile when you dance
your bold assertions
leave me without air
to twist and turn
unable to express
what must remain unspoken
and thus reduced to words
my inner character exposed
in what I write
in what I do
but never in what I say
I speak through fictional poses
to the one who exists
in my mind
hoping somehow you’ll hear
the song in my heart


Exodus by Orhan Veli Kanık


From his window overlooking the roofs
The harbor was in sight
Church bells
Tolled all day long.
From his bed the trains could be heard
From time to time
And at night.
He loved a girl
Who lived in the house across the street.
Be that as it may,
He left this town
And moved to another.


Now the poplars are in view
Out of his window
Along the canal.
Daytime it keeps raining
And the moon is up at night.
There’s a market in the square nearby.
As for him, all the time,
Whatever it is–a trip or money or a letter,
He keeps thinking of something.

translated by Talat S. Halman