The Moon over Istanbul

by Bänoo Zan

is my mother’s

She will not remember
my departure

The moon over Istanbul
is a bonfire of stories
displaced and homegrown—

This is the waning moon
like the thin dome of
Hagia Sophia1
emptied of prayer—
a bright cup
filled with night—

I drink from her dreams—
a whirling dervish mirror skirt
spread over the void—

stars falling
my eyes
drop by drop—

Christos and Allah
inhabit the same temple
but we are driven apart—

The moon over Istanbul
is a song of farewell
no bird can sing—

She is the same goddess
worshiped everywhere—

but now
she is here—
with me—

1 Former Greek Orthodox Christian cathedral, later an Ottoman imperial mosque, and now a museum, located in Istanbul, Turkey.

— from Juniper Volume 3, Issue 2