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July 2019 Vol. 15 No. 2

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Matthew Caretti

Empire of Lost Souls

So many conquerors. Romans. Crusaders. Ottomans. Pagans, Christians and Muslims. The pious and the secular. And the pious again. Sacking the Hagia Sofia. A place of sacred wisdom become a mass exhibition.

holy, holy, holy
the seraphim
masked again

Genuflection and reclining selfies. Silence and laughter. A stray cat and a low-cut dress. Walking out on it all. Toward the Golden Horn. Guided by the constant flow of trams. The flight of the gulls. Unintelligible words and pointing fingers.

galata bridge
the fisherman smokes
a pickerel

Where heaven and earth meet. Some crowded way forward. As Rumi had it, “On the seeker’s path, wise men and fools are one.” So as one through the clamorous market. To the dervishes.

how-to god
whirling
into now

Emerging into the dark night. And yet the search continues. Turning east. Always toward the East. Regaining the Bosporus. A dark shoreline. The docks. An empty vessel.

a few spare coins
for a new continent
adrift


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