cotton and truth

we were fine. we would believe in cotton,
birthday songs, cakes and the person blowing out candles
the joyous necessity of how good it was to be born
we would believe in chemistry, measuring tools and scale,
her name is fatma, we would immediately believe in fatma
sergio leone, electric energy
his name is ali, why wouldn’t we believe in ali

we were fine
we would explain the second slaps with cultural difference theory
the first was after all an improvisation
the third slap, however, was against human rights
we would believe in human rights
john locke and john wayne
we would believe in going from one place to another,
coats, cotton fields, virginia tobacco
the war of the living under the rule of the dead
but cotton the most
“how sad the lili marlene songs are”
we took it, accept it: very sad
it was somewhere around here, we would believe in that too
whatever it was, there was no doubt in our faith
in hand-held cameras, mercy… reno toros the car
if it hadn’t been discontinued, we would’ve almost worshipped it

we were fine
we would believe in cotton. monogamy and surprises
arrogant constriction of a mouth saying surprise
bikini island and dungarees
balms and the honesty of trotsky for some reason
the season of sweet cherries, tanpınar the writer
the sentence “istanbul is the capital of the world” and brown rice
lost siblings, dead languages, engineers
isn’t there a pleasant sound in the idea of lost siblings
jodie foster; all together
elmalılı commentary on the qur’an, some of us
only a few of us in karabaş tajweed
in sweating, molding, madonna
homeland is a precious lot, in national real estate agents
state railroads and people’s highways
double-rose yasin prayer books
not in purple white opium flowers but
once again: double-rose yasin prayer books

in well-wishes; see you later
what’s the point of seeing each other again
in fountains, the ancient world; rome and three continents
agreements and social security
in not spitting at the ground
-you can spit at the skies-
while the sons of israelis were killing the daughters of israelis
we were fine, believing in cotton.

from  The White Defense (Beyaz Savunma). Pan Yayıncılık, 2009.

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