Vibrant Photos That Show What the Middle East is Really Like
In every way he can, he is saying his country is beautiful too. The curls of carnation against the wall are witness, the gold-headed gahwa cups peering over each other parse this riot of tenderness: the open Quran resting in the crook of the rehal, the black hair on the model’s head and legs and arms, the Calvin Klein boxers over which his belly only just begins to spill, the scent of the coffee, the white Saturday on the walls. And I don’t for a minute doubt him. I also hold a land in my heart as sweet as the last sip of amber çay in a tulip glass with the sugar cube still crumbling as joyous as a cross-legged meal on the carpet, everyone eating from the same dish as hearty as a haul of hazelnuts being husked through the night in a circle of song as golden as hot lokma in a borrowed bowl as generous as yellow plums appearing like bulbs of summer light as sparse as a little boy with no pants peering over a wall of smashed oil cans as impaired as the amca’s one milky eye when he said keep a stick on her back and a child in her belly. When I was eleven I stepped into a room full of a table covered with a thousand parted lips and pairs of glowing legs, piles of arched backs, little waists, bubble breasts; on all the walls, chairs occupied by men filling ashtrays, flipping pages. I went into the street. I walked up and down to console myself. About everything there is so much to be told. Let us not be afraid to tell it all.
Bryana Joy is a writer, poet, and painter who works full-time sending illustrated snail mail letters all over the world. She has lived in Turkey, East Texas, and England, and currently lives in Eastern Pennsylvania with her husband. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in an assortment of literary journals, including Beloit Poetry Journal, Chestnut Review, and Red Rock Review. She has a thing for thunderstorms, loose-leaf tea, green countrysides, and the music of Johann Sebastian Bach.