The cold rim of the rakı glass
just touches my lips
when ezan, the invitation to prayer, explodes through the loud speakers of the mosque next to the restaurant.
Allah-ü ekber! Allah-ü ekber!
Some patrons stop eating;
some assume a respectful posture.
A few appear to murmur a prayer.
An elderly man gets up.
Is he going to join the believers,
or just to take a leak?
Most others keep eating, drinking and talking. Aniseed’s aroma teases my thirst.
My brother who sits across from me
plays with his humus
as if he were arranging a Zen sandbox:
Monks chant… a snowy calm
The gong… kisses… the air
Seduction… to prayer
This is all I can read from his lips.
La ilahe illallah.
The ezan stops.
A forceful silence fills the space.