In memory of Aleppo – Alice Melike Ulgezer

Wisdom is crying in the streets
for she cast her bread upon the waters
but after many days, it did not return.

So now she runs, searching for an altar
in the ruins of the city where the bathhouse once stood,
and the citadel sufficed for protection,
crying; My head is filled with night
and the children are all gone elsewhere.

But no one knows to whom she speaks.
And all those who see her, turn their heads
for she rents herself in absurd attire,
the rags of fools and princes
and turning to face the wind she cries,
My head is filled with night,
Come with me to the water, there we can feel free!

But the city is not what it once was,
the nights no longer filled with saints,
and though its people still walk the streets,
truly, none can find the way.

And all who hear her tongue hear only madness
for she speaks of fools riding horses of wind,
of princes weaving crowns of filth.

And wisdom is crying in the streets
Abdul, Rania, Ali, Fatima!
Your little limbs all torn by thieves.
Gülistan, Abdullah, Ayşe, Ahmet!
Come with me to the water, there we can feel free!

But the children are asleep in the shadows of horses
their minds rent with bombs, their vision blurred or stolen,
the water is all but gone and wisdom is crying in the streets,
for in her hands there is no bread, and there is no altar that remains.