Postcards from Istanbul /6

“She inspired you, you loved her and sang of her; her task was done.”
– Franz Liszt in a letter to Hector Berlioz, 1854


The give of a soft pear surrendering to my teeth.

The burst of plum in my mouth; juice dribbling down my chin onto my helpless blue shirt.

The tickle of pine leaves against my skin

Brass taps peeping out of marble boundary walls generously offering mountain-cold water. Splashes on the back of my neck. Cupped handfuls quench my thirst.

The down of a peach.

The turn of the wind as noon hands the baton of the day to evening time.

The heat pressing against the ribs of my chest upon receiving the toothless smile of an old lady insisting I share her handful of roasted chestnuts.

The salt of the Aegean coating my lips.

The moment a mulberry on my tongue breaks against the roof of my mouth.

2495 cicadas coming home to roost.

The embracing safety and comfort of the Virgin ensconced in the walls of her home.

The leaves – maple, fig, and white chestnut.

The singular blue of the Mediterranean.

A nap on the green slopes of Pergamon overlooking the rocky valley.


All this and then the world for you. Not the widest hands can hold the treasures I wish to return home with, for you.


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