Touching twenty in the daytime: we walk
the valley of fairy chimneys. On returning,
the village woman in the headscarf, who could
be any age between thirty and sixty,
stares us down, asks, “kardeş?” and when
we look back, blank, slides ring finger
between right thumb and forefinger, looped,
in a gesture I think prudish, obscene.
How could we know, at night in November,
the temperature in this mud-walled room
could fall so low? We put on all our clothes
and embrace through a dozen layers.
I am thinking of the San Polo room
a year ago: how it smelled of old man,
how I woke to find my hand cupping your breast,
your lips on mine, not quite kissing me goodbye.
‘Goreme’ by Mike Farren received a special mention in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (March/April 2020) judged by Mandy Pannett.