(after the poem Turkish Delight by P. Stephenson)
One guest giggled
and the other pressed record as the city’s most heterosexual waiter
poured hot white cream over the brown chocolate ball on my plate,
entitled Orgasm. Delight and Turkish had never been so far apart
as the restaurant stared and I struggled to swallow while the waiter
continued to pour.
In a part of the restaurant there was a glass floor so you could see
everything that was below you, as if nothing was hidden and yet
when I ordered the chocolate orgasm and a waiter melted my ball
everything seemed closeted.
Later, along the Bosporus, she pointed to the bridge that brought
you over to Asia and I stumbled again to swallow. I had not packed
my barely-passed geography in the suitcase. I was equally in Istanbul
and rather unsure about either. Later, the continent of understanding
came crashing down upon me like the sellers of the Bazaar who smelt
of too much spice while taking too much of my money and replacing
it with delights
no one would forgive me for giving them. In the factory, the following
morning, they cracked open a box of lilac-flavoured delight that tasted
like sour soap and again I was forced to swallow something I knew
I’d never be able to digest,
like straight men melting your chocolate balls and the shortcut to China
over a bridge by the Bosporus with nothing but glass beneath your feet.