January First

No two fairy chimneys are the same,
but they are to you, after hours
of looking and walking and sitting,
idly at the back of a van.
snow falls on them on the second day,
the endless steppes.
this snow is more beautiful,
more real than the city-snow you’ve known,
which gets dark and muddy,
splish-splosh-splash under your sneakers,
your socks always get wet.
the snow of asia-minor, colder and whiter,
exponantially. crushes under your boots.
for a second you want to abandon the city,
come live a small-town life and watch the mountains, it is peaceful.
you wish for peace. last moments of the year,
on a bridge on the river,
everyone wishes for peace. you all sing a song of love.

first day of the year is one added to the last.
you wake up to are-you-okay texts,
read the news with a headache.
your highschool graduation party materializes in the warm hotel room,
the same venue. a june evening makes its way to a january morning.
you search for names of the dead,
routine now, as the birds outside sing endlessly.
you envy them more than you envy those who started the new year without war.
you look outside, the snow is melting,
mixing with the pure earth to create the ugliest sludge you have seen.
you suddenly wish to be home.
your flight home is early in the morning, a quick goodbye with a promise of return,
everyone wears rehearsed words and steps, unreality is in the air.
a strange man asks you, daughter, how old are you?
you forget for a second – 19, no, 18. the stress of an approaching birthday.
so was she, he says. the past tense is violence.
you talk to your mother, so was she, you say.
you hang up, a quick goodbye with a promise of return,
unreality is in the air.

Alaz Ada

Alaz is from Istanbul, Turkey and is in the dual degree program with University of British Columbia. She enjoys writing essays especially on the social sciences but also writes poetry and prose; and sometimes also reads, paints and cooks as a hobby.
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