PANAYOTIS IOANNIDIS

ΤHIS IS NOT A DERVISH

Taksim Square, Istanbul, 2013

Dark cypress-green velvet
with wide black canvas hem
billows unfurled as he turns and turns arms open
to the sky and earth
in the standing crowd
clapping its hands
on the bitumen-laid
wound of the square

But on his face – But the face
is neither saint’s nor man’s

The face is a mask:
a monstrous duck Eyes capped
the beak sewed up sealed tight
–against the tear-gas– White hospital rubber –gazeless, breathless– over the swelling cypress foliage

Stop
Stop
your clapping
Seize him
Save him
In his white diving mask the air will soon be spent He’ll sink to the ground and won’t spring up

[Translated by Panayotis Ioannidis; unpublished]