to hide here and kiss a beloved is not sin enough

translated by 

the human soul is a dark place, leviathan.

so much that my eyes begrudge the light.

I sense the dark upsurge. I can’t find a hole large enough, can’t live on level ground.

at the old bookshop I stopped by this afternoon, I found on top of a cabinet a little french book about paul cézanne. I showed it to the man standing by the door and asked, how much. a rare work, he said, antique, hard to come by. I know that, I said, but how much. thirty liras, he said. I cursed the man who priced rareness at thirty liras. 

the human soul is contemptible, leviathan. you better hang in my dark face. just like this. one day, when I leave this place, I’ll want to kiss you. believe me: neither luke nor john will record my deeds.

Translation from the Turkish

Merve Çanak was born in 1994 and grew up in Istanbul. She studied English language and literature at Yeditepe University and published her first poetry book, Hiçölüm, in 2018. She has worked at Norgunk Publishing House as an editor and is passionate about avant-garde and experimental writing.

Aron Aji, translator from Turkish, is director of the MFA in Literary Translation program at the University of Iowa. He has translated works by Bilge Karasu, Bejan Matur, and Murathan Mungan.

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