Art consists of limitation. The most beautiful part of every picture is the frame.
This summer I am going to sleep a night
on the wooden frame of a painting
I received from a girl
who was scared of the wind.
I will sleep lightly though
lest I turn over in my sleep
and slide down into the depths
of the orange Bosporus.
But if I did slide down to its bottom
what a wonderful twist of fate it would be
if after I lost all hope of salvation
i became entangled in the nets of Sardinian fishermen
praying for the intercession of St Nicholas
as they pulled me up out of the water
in the nick of time.
Can you imagine my relief
as they docked at the pier
and as I stepped out in my wet clothes
to walk the streets of the Great City.
I would pause at a lighted window on my way to vespers
and listen in and hear a baker
offer an old and tired stone mason
his exegesis on the apocalypse of St John
while he retrieved loaves of bread
from a wood fire oven.
On such a night
yours and mine would meet for the first time
beside a candle stand in Agia Sophia
and as we shared a flask of red wine at a tavern
we would fall in love and decide on impulse
to sell everything we owned
and join a band of Arab merchants
to travel with them beyond the frame of the painting
to Venice, to Alexandria, to Rome.
We would sit hunched over on our camels
as we climbed up onto the wooden frame,
me by my clothes still damp from the salt water
you by the gravity of your bold decision to join me.
And as the orange of the sky faded under grey brush strokes
you would nostalgically look over your shoulder
at Constantinople basking in the moonlight
and I captivated by the Silk Road laid out ahead
would marvel at its endless roll of shining white fabric
glowing like jasmine in the dark.