Nothing else moves
by Iclal Akcay

oy anam, oy babam,
oy gençliğim, geçmişim geleceğim
adım Bergen,
öyle diyorlar bana,
acıların kadınıyım
17‘imden beri şarkı söylerim
annem bile unuttu gerçek adımı
eşim, sevdiğim adam
kezzapla dağladı yüzümü
oy, bu aşk, oy, şöhret, para
27‘imde vurdu, koydu beni mezara.

Oh mother, oh father,
oh my youth, my past and my future,
my name is Bergen,
that’s what they call me
the woman of pain.
I’ve been singing since I was 17.
My gypsy mother forgot my real name.
Oh, this love, oh fortune and fame
my husband,
the man I loved
threw acid in my face
my husband,
the man I loved,
gunned me down at 27.

It’s pitch dark now.
a woman’s voice is the only link
to yesterday evening
streaming melancholy
among twittering street lights
she breaks into pieces
in another part of the city.

She was singing
scratching the ground
with her nails
an irresistible force
a gunshot
everybody else is numb
the song’s melody
still reaches my ears.

Now, it’s so quiet.
a gentle breeze moves a lock of my hair
from its original place.
the motion releases tension
into this steady night.

I can see
nothing else moves
except perhaps
a bird’s feather
making slow rounds
in mid air
totally undetermined
about its final destination
in the labyrinths
of the sudden breeze.

Am I mistaken?
it’s difficult to know
if anything else really moves.
not even the weightless curves
of my lavish dress
though it gently sweeps
the surface of my legs.

A memory suddenly slits my heart
a butcher’s knife finding its way
through a dying animal.
the familiarity of the pain
isn’t soothing.
it’s massive,
it’s here.