**This poem was published in the Lighthouse Literary journal. You can buy it HERE**

when even the sky feels different meaning the clouds here are from a different air or rather the difference in everything is told by looking up
white barges move leisurely as they’ve done a thousand times with red-topped houses mish-mashed on a once grassy hill resembling legos
the city wakes up to a crescent moon still visible against the dawn and you wonder about things like how people drive here or whether the men selling simit on street corners have the same supplier
and strangely everyone speaks english except the old cab drivers who complain about tourists and arabs and I think to myself that I’m lucky I blend in everyone here knows their history and where the monuments are
and where I live there are no monuments and young kids here have Ataturk’s signature tattooed on their arms and chests and speak passionately because they understand the situation
not like here
I remember the trip from the airport passing through a barren hillside that somehow carried itself proudly and seeing a flag in the distance and nothing else but a hill and flag and thinking it defined this place perfectly
“I guess you can just take me home now” I’ll go back to the traffic and ignorance and bad food and know that despite all that my life is good
and I’ll sometimes hear the morning prayer in my head and think about the summer here


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