The following are taken from a series of flash fiction written about Istanbul called ‘5 days/5 nights’.


5 Nights


I have found no less spiritual place than this bridge in the nighttime.

And I may die in this car.

In this part of the world, they bury their dead naked and wrapped in sheets,

they like to leave as they entered,

although I even heard over in Varanasi, they don’t let the girls stand at funeral, that their screams and wails will get in the way of the spirits route to the afterlife.

If I were to die right now, just pull this door and jump off this bridge, they’d bury me with my skateboard, I know it,

we’re so sentimental in my family.

What kind of bridge sees this much traffic at 9pm? Work finished hours ago, I want to go home.  Home, it seems, is a whole other direction.

I don’t know if we deserve better.

The soviets were good for these kinds of minibuses, that’s what you can expect from a good dictator… transport. We all go down together.

If I die in this car, I’m taking these guys with me.

He could move these cars like Tetris, everything little, little, into the middle

Now I would sell my soul for raki.

Maybe I could move them with my mind, maybe if I get out of here alive me and moody guts over there will move to the pagoda, I’d do a lot of things.

If I get out of this car.

But I’m too frustrated for dreams.

I just want to get where I’m going…

I will definitely die in this car.


You’re my brother, or my sister – it doesn’t matter.

I invite you to my home.

I watched her spin, peaceful and hungry like an enlightened zombie.


Thank god for these eyes, this dervish.

She said her new self came out from her heart with a circle

and it went up and then, she came down

and put her old self in the ground, she spun for days

and to the new moon said welcome.

This   your aura, is blue and green, the blue is for the heart and the green for the throat, for the communicate.

And there are people making love in my kitchen.

oh I can’t go back.

He’s thinking what her name will taste like when he says it to his friends.

And she asks me my zodiac

Like it makes the universe or the conversation.

And somehow I forgot where it was I had to be.


I like you, you’re a good dancer,

clothes kind of baggy, like the armpits are missing and

you’re sexy

in a quiet way.

Do you understand me now,

you can feel me?

Do you have a boyfriend to walk back to?

You know where your heart and throat are when you hold my hands for so long

that I get awkward

but probably don’t want you to stop.

Because I like the solitude I get

When I dance with you

and no one’s staring.


5 Days 


The roof I was sitting on used to be strong, but now, if I stood on it, it would break.

And I would fall and crash into the teras, like an idiot.

I teased myself, about what it really meant to be brave, when one part was easy, but really, I’m afraid, to get close enough to people, so they can smell me or feel how hard my heartbeats. That I am playing with this danger, but won’t lie down like its beach rocks. That I have to measure courage.

It was easier back when I was writing postcards.

And not telling myself, that I’ve always been a phony.



My Teyze owes me money

When the earthquake comes this house may kill or save me, I didn’t decide yet.

and lord knows I’m not a volcanist, or whatever we call them

Someone told me there’s a part of Naples that looks exactly like Tarlabasi, and that the impending volcano is like our own fears of shaking grounds and cracked homes.

No one visits the dentist anyway.

It makes the people not give a shit

You can see it on their faces, in the way they live.

They will one day be abandoned too.

Laundries covered in dust.

We all live on top of mountains, we just don’t see it.

I bet my Teyze does,

How else would she know what’s coming.


 The first time I read a cup, I saw lovers.

They made a shape like a ying yang, but they were out of balance because

Really, I was trying to tell him I didn’t want what he wanted, that she lent in with her body, but his shoulders cast shadows all over the coffee.

The small girl cheapened the method by talking about pretzels, but someone dismissed her god too so let’s say we were even.


If you were leaving in two hours, we could take pictures of each other naked, or I could tell you what I saw inside your mornings.

A smiley face, a bear trap and a bleak beach of a future, but at least it was the bank’s other side that was for sure, and don’t trust strange people okay, just don’t do it.

I don’t want to dream of you being lifted from me.


Next, I’m shining light on all your problems, those wild animals with their anger and I think back to my own critters playing symphonies in the forest, a wild rumpus.


What’s that mother fucker doing in my cup?

I always liked it when you read it, I know what moon means, the silence playing disco,  the things I say yes to.

The boys have blond hair don’t they sweetie?

I know because it says so.


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