The First Apartment I Rented

Looking skyward was sometimes inevitable.
The blocks of apartments rolled with the terrain.
Concrete and stone covered every inch.

My obsession was wondering what might happen
to this complex if the future Great Istanbul Earthquake
struck sometime in the next month or so.

Pancaked ground floors commonplace
and, living on the story above, I instantly turned
to the armoire in my cubbyhole of a bedroom.

The wardrobe would tilt over but not crush me.
I praised how thin the room’s layout was —
but would the above stories succumb to gravity

crush me anyway if the Richter leapt over seven?
The next thought: Find out the building codes.
Does Bülent have them?

The only way to stay safe would be to lounge
on a retrofitted balcony lined with fake grass
high enough from Sea of Marmara tsunami

an endless surge pushing ashore
engulfing the rock walls and walkways
submerged at ten feet at least.

What’s tomorrow morning’s devastation?
The transport to memory, the bitter patterns on
the edge of a coffee mug, lost granules of two decades ago

bringing foreseen waves, unbelievable destruction.
I now sit in a house thousands of miles away
thinking about the next tornado outbreak here.

What are you looking for?