My God, they were all so beautiful,
each parchment trumpeting its cursive praise
of Allah, whose residence in Istanbul

seemed tenuous throughout the vulgar maze
of kitsch and gizmos the Grand Bazaar's become.
Here at last, I thought, He'd find a phrase

or two to please Him—not the vendors' dumb,
kilowatt promotion of their crap,
but silent decibels of script, its un-

or otherworldly characters trapped
in suspended eloquence. As if on ice
a figure-skating rubricant had mapped

his arabesques with slathered blades, the rise
and roller-coaster dip of letters swelled