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Gabriel Levin

 

IN PAMUKKALE


I'd been walking in circles in the hooded
dark of the village below Hierapolis' white ridge,
    trying to relocate the whereabouts

of my pension, when I first heard
the high whiplash, followed by a wilful throb,
    a sort of deadpan guffaw, the doubled

voice of a ventriloquist, pitched
across the empty lot. Ah, I said, and loitered,
    intent upon threading
the needle of its song. And the mountains

on all sides huddled solemn as Hittites
lying in wait in the high passes. Ah, I repeated,
    as I turned down the road, what
signs and wonders lead me on.

 

from Ostraca, Anvil 1999