Poetry by Carl Boon


It’s the longest night of the year,
and she heads to the Metro station
in a persimmon-colored skirt,
cognizant of all save the eyes
that reel and sway with her.
She’ll have a caramel latte
with a man who can’t pronounce
her name, who spends hours
in the bathroom admiring
the knot of his tie, how his coat
looks like Sinatra’s in the Red Room
in Los Angeles. They finally decide
on a sweet. She’ll have the pumpkin
cheesecake and he the apple tart,
and they won’t make love tonight
beneath the thin moon because
of too many becauses, too many
worn-out ghosts in other booths.
He’ll warm macaroni and she’ll
warm the morning’s coffee
while drinking a glass of Chablis.
They won’t be happy tonight.
But she’s glad to remove her shoes
and he’s glad at the call to prayer
coming at his bedroom window.



Go to your balcony, your terrace,
your doorstep, your place of shade.
Watch what the flowers have become
overnight. How they’ve blossomed
and expanded. And bring that knowledge
to your lover’s skin as she lay in bed
waiting for you. The rhythm must be
so slow as to be unexpected, slow
like strawberries in the mouth
of a girl. Eventually

you’ll learn this, and spend
afternoons beside the Marmara Sea
watching the fishermen, the ships
gliding, the boys frying mussels
on open flames. In Istanbul
continents converge as bodies should,
beyond details, detritus, broken vows.
Please watch and be past it, and pass
your afternoons walking aside piers
before it starts to rain again.


About Carl Boon

Carl Boon lives in Istanbul, where he directs the English prep school and teaches courses in literature at Yeni Yuzyil University. Recent or forthcoming poems appear in The Tulane ReviewPositThe Blue Bonnet Review, and other magazines.