Istanbul is lovely

this time of year

ancient Constantinople

center of the Ottoman Empire

City of culture,

exotic beauty,

exalted spires,

domed mosques

To the east,

Mount Ararat

protector of the Ark,


Travel south

to Izmir

cosmopolitan Smyrna on the Aegean,

cleansed of its name, its people

Have a picnic

in the Armenian quarter

where homes were ransacked,

the city razed

Take a balloon ride

to Turkey’s southern border

following routes of deportation

imagine Christian bones,

now desert dust

Return to Istanbul

peruse open markets,

inhale fragrant spices

the Magic City

welcomes you.

Carr, a Skillman resident, is a second-generation Armenian American whose grandparents fled from Turkey to escape the atrocities of the Armenian genocide.

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