Two Poems by Alpay Ulku

Issue 87

Found in Willow Springs 87

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"Spending the Night at the Blue Mountain Service Plaza on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, I Dreamt I Drove into a Tractor Trailer Just Past Mile Marker 202"


You’ve been driving for hours, through the pitch and roll of tightening curves, lights and signs stepping into view, watching you as you pass, a living thing that thinks it’s moving, thinks there are junctures and exits. Your lids are two venetian blinds, the wide, heavy, wooden kind, in a room with a bed as soft as Snow White. White pillows, white comforter, soft white down. A strand of long black hair you follow with your eyes. It is snowing. Sheets of intricate white swirls, one behind the other. You cradle the letter T to your chest, and carry it to here. So where you are is never where you’re at. But that’s dream talk streaming by. What is real is this: you were never grateful enough for what you had.


"Ice Walking, Columbia Ice Field, Jasper National Park, Alberta"


The lake is a leaf with blue edges and intricate pale blue veins. It makes its sugar from the cold, and feeds the ice, which spreads its roots like a chestnut tree, grubbing for nutrients, for fish in deep fish sleep huddled between the rocks like fossils from a younger age. Long slide of melt water frozen to glass, polished by snow, moraine dredged up from February’s thaw: elements added to a base metal to make it more than what it was, make it so it doesn’t break. Your heart, twice tempered, but more than two times harder.


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