In Istanbul

By Jeanine Stevens

A clear autumn morning, the police station explodes in Istanbul.

Sea bass flood fishing boats, then appear at the street market in Istanbul.


At the ruins, hundreds of feral cats sip water from blue tiles.

The wooden horse is splintered and needs a polish near Istanbul.


My dress is Liz Claiborne from J. C. Penny’s. The music is gypsy,

the flute made of PVC pipe and the wine flows free in Istanbul.


Ataturk’s photo is removed from school books. When will the next

caravan arrive? Will the oil in our lanterns last the winter in Istanbul?


Droves of pumpkin vines encroach, encircle the old walls of Istanbul.

The Black Sea takes watch and orange heads loll at the gates in Istanbul.


Jeanine Stevens studied poetry at U.C. Davis, and has an M.A. in Anthropology. Winner of the MacGuffin Poet Hunt and one of two finalists for the William Stafford Prize. Author of Sailing on Milkweed, her latest chapbook is “Needle in the Sea,” from Tiger’s Eye Press. Poems have appeared in Poet LoreEvansville ReviewPearlNorth Dakota ReviewPerfume RiverAlehouse and Quercus Review.

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