Ribbon Time: An Hour After Maybe Two

My scream takes me across the room to my ceremonial bed,
Flying very close to the ceiling.
My white gown with spots of blood here and there.
An hour of nothingness, maybe two.

Then I half open my eyes to a restaurant
Filled with guests, drinking, eating, singing.
Kids of all ages running around
Their mouths painted with the saffron of the rice,
Breaking glasses, getting their hands into dishes,
Doing things their parents would never let them do.
The band, four men in suits, the colors of which fighting
To stay with a shade of brown or gray.
The gypsy music loud: orange and red.

My father, lifting the cover a little bit,
Explains to my older brother
This is the purpose of the ceremonial cap
To cover the wounded thing
So that the gown does not stick…

Poor kid, laughs my older brother,
He really believed you, father, 
That we were going to put
Just a red ribbon…

As the gypsies start a new tune,
The belly dancer, a rather thin, red haired woman
Pushes herself into the smoke and noisiness.
Her tambourine pulls applauds from some tables.
The mothers motion to their kids 
To come close or to stay put.

A butterfly with thousand colors
Emerges from my chest.
Her eyes  - just forming - in the hindwings
Blink surprise, maybe fear.

Leyla, my steady girl friend since the first grade,
Takes the butterfly into her cupped hand. 
Caressing her vibrating antennae with her finger and gentleness,
Lets her fly through the half open window
Into the dark of the Marmara Sea – both joyful and calm.

Then she comes closer to me
Bending down to my ear:
It is Ok, Adnan, she says.
(The ribbon time is over)
She even touches my trembling hands.