City of the sea
City of three seas: the Black, the Greek and the connecting Bosphorus
City of straits
Streets and straits and stairways
City of gardens where the homeless strays
City of tourist heartbreak and shopworn ways
City of lightning striking water and rainy days
City of gays

Istanbul where the wanderer is home-weary
And the homeless bleeds from his feet
Where pigeons are fed
And the poor go hungry
Because the rich fed off the fat of the land
                            fruit and grain and kine

Where Mother Mary in gold mosaic still retains her compassion
for the son she castrated so he can be the Son
On another golden Cross and a gold mosaic

Where the rosehip tree whispers to the wind
I don't need to marry
I make love to the passersby
Where boys solicit at pay toilets
And the Sultan bathed in alabaster basins
City of love and no sin

Where the Roman marked the navel of the world
And Helene saw the flaming Cross
Where Leandas swam the Hellenspont for Hero
And where the Ottoman wiped out the Cross

Where the sword of Ali held sway
And Murad's poetry was bound in gold
Before his lover, in their love's throes, killed him with a silken cord
Where a diamond found in the dust is sold for three spons and a song

Where thrones of Hindustan are sat upon
Its gods spat upon
Where Europe lost Asia forever until your fall
Celebrated each morning in the devouring of a crescent croissant

Where perspectives and history shift
like the sea-weather
Where icons weep
And the Greek is betrayed
Where Anatolia threatens the gates
And the hungry Bosphorus devours its suicide

Where Mary smiles for her sons
As she rises on a whim and a wish each dawn
The serpent and cresence underfoot
The Mother of Ephesus turned Christs'

Weep for us
till your tears flow down to the sea like the Tigris
Give us the peace found only on the top of the Taurus Moutains
Heal the bloodsoaked feet of the weary
Comfort the heart of the homesick homeless
Till the domes of Constantinople shine gold again
Till the minarets of Constantinople sink into the sea again.

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