Becoming my own
Like the warm apple in the orchard, my legs
are blotched a blushing nude, clenched tight
as teeth together. I am staring down at my
thighs and knees, separated only by an inch,
and in between them sits the knot that makes
me woman. It does not seem to be so very
large as I had feared. Curious, I prise my clamped
legs apart to extract my white, heavy underwear,
holding it up to see the hot islets
of the blood of adulthood.
wintering here now
I think about you consciously all the time.
No hiding behind dreams, visions and half-memories,
a dark head turned towards me
in the night. I think of you deliberately, I think of your
voice, all the times I wanted to cup your face in my palms
which are dry palms , I am a quiet woman
when it comes to these things. I want to tell you I'm sorry now
but I don't know what I'm sorry for. I want to have done the right thing
but I don't know what that is. I want to stroke some part of your distant body
but there hasn't been much touching lately – is that too old? I think I just want
to sit across from you in the desert mist and say, I wanted to be free.
You are most beautiful like this, no hair and no makeup,
wild and wretched post-coital woman. If I could paint you now, you'd be the new-age Mona Lisa,
all semi-smile and fully nude, damnedly demisexual. Your large eyes, your lips, the petal pink
of your breast, gallant darling, the fell swoop of your neck,
your jutting chin, your maidensmile,
Lara Arikan has been writing from Ankara for the past thirteen years. Her prose and photographs have appeared in Bilkent University's weekly publication Bilkent News, for which she writes regularly as a columnist. One of her poems currently awaits publication in the Cordite Poetry Review. Others have been published in Typishly, the online literary journal; in Medusa's Laugh Press' microtext anthology 3; and in di-verse-city 2018, the youth anthology of the Austin International Poetry Festival.