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The flower of Türkiye

I beat it clean in the cold water
My face intends love poetry

silver-flower, Season of Melons
and the crocus, that flower
that ends the rain, and that
we find with the first fire
that warms the air and the spring,

A rose is a rose and its own laughter
I say no more about the matter

The crops turn gold and we reap them
In the fall the flower
of girls I once admired
and did not kiss, the flower of this
and of the girl who stood like a foal
and was a foal,

  I have a criminal record, ho-ho
  Flower of such records

And invitations,
of pinning sweet things
to one's skirts. And laughing.
And in the governor's home
the flower of pillows,
of knees, of the filthiest words
in the Turkish language:
Widow, bridegroom, sister-in-law,
the filthy flower of brothers by marriage,

of your face and how you comb
your hair, the flower that blooms
when your dress is smoothed,
A flower invites, I sparingly accept
A man must do things at his desk

  Even Americans have photos of me, o-ho
  The police of which thieves own houses

You are good my love, patient and driving
Perhaps one gains one's peace by fighting
For the source of love is anger
at its founding, the flower
of hurried histories.

In your hair is a Hungarian red,
A flower like the hand-written
Kurans that are flowers,
the Circassian flowers
of my cheeks, and many more,

  ho-ho, they should put you on the record
  Having heard you are good, and patient and demanding

One drinks flowers at the service
the women hold for the dead.
Exhaustion flies in on the wing
of a white bird, and the pretty
flower of my sleep
recalls the woman
who reads her Kuran,
who commits God's word to memory.
And the merchants, the men
who make radios and also
complete the sleeping flower
of the town in my mind,

with its baths that smell like vinegar,

the dances of its weddings,
where this, I see, is how one should dance
staring at walls, at ceilings.
The faded love-flower of the village,
the groomsman's flower, and that
of the wedding, of how long the wedding is.
The groom throws a weapon out the window
and the bride, embarrassed, combs his beard for him.
A flower of smoke is released.

  Criminal record or not, oho
  My love, we have still washed each other

flower in the face
of the accomplished,
flower in the brow
of the War of Independence,
flower of the bread
that rises in Asia,

You are brave in your heart
as a commander who has lived
for five thousand years.
You, the fragile flower of shyness,
appear on the mountain at a sound,
a gesture from those who make
gestures, in whose mouths are flowers,
the flowers of hope, as large
and as much as Türkiye.

  Your face intends a love-flower,
  the flower in your heart, which is uprising.


Türkiye Kadar bir Çiçek by Ergin Günçe

Translated June 1, 2020

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