Coffee Sleeve Stories

The Blue Mosque

By Steve Rubinstein

Still awake and on fire at 4 a.m.

we are insects buzzing

in palace trees below

Shadows crouched

between lintel and sill

dust settling, pollen

on forgotten wine.

We pause in silence

rise to a clear morning

wail beneath the Blue Mosque

amid the old city atop

a jumbled scaffold of saffron beams.

Blue skates carve helium turns overhead.

Dawn emerges ochre and steaming.

The Bosporus is a widening shadow of freight.

One Comment

  • Harrison

    One thing I noticed about this poem is how it sets up a location without telling you exactly where said location is and what it looks like. The lines, especially in the first half set up a mix between urban and natural. While it’s impossible to guess what time period this would hypothetically take place in, many of the words used give it the feeling of a long forgotten golden age. “We are insects buzzing” suggests that the poem is told through either literal insects, or the word “insect” is being used as a metaphor for a person which is very interesting to think about. I appreciate the subtlety used in this poem.

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