the ladder rising to the sky
(after the soil seethes up
the waters calm down)
this is not Jacob’s ladder
Mount Ahır, Engizek . . . Öksüz . . . Berit . . .
Zeytun Springs . . . Blood River Bridge . . . Yeşilgöz Gorge
from the deep comes the resolve of the upsurge
in the beginning the earth must be flat
angels return from the clouds
down below, humid sleep, divine silence
down below, no ladders, no ladders . . . Death without
the Angel of Death converted to money’s dust here
dawn deferred . . . daylight dimmed, like a vigil . . .
wickedness is wary of virtue
on the faces, the hearts’ shadows
the cry in government square fattened
not on tears but the crossmarks on doors
this is Esau’s dominion, and of those
who say, all is lawful for the cause
is God destroying the faithful, is perdition
born of the agony of the silenced
don’t ask me where I’m going
I am going, certain, determined
I am going to cross-examine
the buildings unresistant to earthquakes
where’s it, did the wind sweep away the mountains’ ghazal?
Mi’e’raj: The night of the Prophet Muhammad’s ascension, and the origin of the name of Maraş (Kahramanmaraş), the epicenter of the February 2023 earthquake in Turkey.