Hug the Bosporus, like a dragonfly on a floating twig,

like magical scarabs of ancient Egypt,

wait in god’s hand for whatever fate is in store.

Now your enemies are tapping, once again,

persistent woodpeckers

upon the chitinous surface of your imperious shell.

Barely conscious of this attack, or of its predecessors,

you still retain the haughtiness

of an undefeated general: an Alexander,

baring his teeth to the Asian resistance,

knowing that amongst one’s antagonists

there must  be a dim but insistent awareness

that their passion, however real, is pitiful,

that in their position is an element of folly:

Their engines of siege will rust,  be-turbaned soldiers

will grow gaunt and bitter,

become skeletal, like their aspirations,

before these walls are shattered,

before this city, which as you know is eternal, will be taken.

Armies, and autumn leaves will scatter.

Another millennium will mark its passage.