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A little solitude would do it

Even a square notebook would be enough
to describe Samatya station
as it leans against the night,
against the broken hopes
of passerby, who walk the shore
as that station, wet with rain,
pushes sadness to their eyes.
The sorrow is the station
and the station is its sorrow,
the poet of its own grief,
when the conductor smiles a little
at the coming evening,
indifferent to his days of trains
and freights and passengers,
of tickets and used tokens,
and Egemen Berköz comes home,
heart dry with grief,
having seen come evening
the run-down homes by the rails,
a woman's breasts as she hangs clothing,
a man who eats rice in the morning
in his underwear, no good shirt,
children filthy and unashamed
of their filth, every day,
every day the passengers and their
tickets and conductors
and one day Egemen Berköz comes home
His stomach hurts
His beans were hard
Having played chess he comes
home, he has written two texts,
read two pages of Pavese,
looked at pictures of nude women
and the sparse, nude trees,
in the window, like the window
with those curtains in the wind,
fourteen floors away,
or maybe fifteen.
He thinks of cacti,
of the people of Ben Shahn and America,
of the people of Töbder and Türkiye,
and then the newness in his satchel
and the melon in his hand
and the movement inside him,
Egemen Berköz comes home
Walks out of the train and out of the
station, where he sees all the fish,
climbs Mütesellim like the hill it is
climbs the stairs in Ünal Building
thinks his way up to the fifth floor
thinks to number sixteen
a square notebook would suffice he thinks

a square notebook is enough for this


Basit Bir Kareli Defter De Yeterdi by Egemen Berköz

Translated April 6, 2020

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