Interpoet Lines

Sunay AKIN


The boat called Nâzım Hikmet
tears through the asphalt
that separates the Salacak Port
from the sea, thus freeing it
at the cost of sinking

The boat called Can Yücel
blows a mocking whistle
at war ships
and carries bottles of rakı
life savers

The boat called Attilâ İlhan
breaks the water with bliss
for there are lovers kissing inside
and on the deck
is a killer, cold,
lighting his cigarette against the wind

The boat called Edip Cansever
cruises between
the furthest two ports on the Bosphorus
beneath the hotel lights
reflecting on the sea

The boat called Orhan Veli
hurried people home
and seagulls
rush to catch the bread
thrown from the gunwale

The boat called Cemal Süraya
when it wears its costume of light
at dusk
puffs a thin line of smoke into the air
and asks
the Tower of Leander to dance.

Translated by Şehnaz Tahir