Lara Arikan


These flowers, the succulent razors

of their small faces, heavy as they

store honey, to be sucked and sucked

from under their petals which are

their faces that frown.

To suck uses two muscles in my

lips and unkissed neck. It passes this

unlicked space that should not be

saved for lilacs. That waits and waits

to be taken up like something at which

you look, because I want you

to look, to extend and kiss the tissue

of my back throat. Not to give me flowers.

Which I can’t eat or rob of clothes. Which

bodies I don’t lie against all these

days I spend for nothing.

You pressed the lilacs in my hand as an apology –

Take some time. I’ll need some too.

But I don’t need any time, it passes slowly

like rainwater in a palm frond. At one

point you will write and the sharp cup will decant,

so suddenly that I say the wrong thing.

But in between this and that there is an eon to wait

when I know exactly what I like: this,

your thin, your thin thin mouth,

your mangled nose, your you. Scented

wood and oranges in bed with me, but strong and

living, calling out my name. I can put the lilacs

on my shoulders, since it seems you like them,

and you can take from me the taste of plant-sucking.

Which in your absence I do. Their small

and weighty faces. With two lips and a tongue.

If I understood why you left me I would spit them

out like flies.

Lara Arikan is an Ankara-based poet and electronic musician. Some of her work has appeared in Bilkent University's weekly publication Bilkent News, for which she writes regularly as a columnist. One of her poems currently resides in Medusa's Laugh Press' microtext anthology 3. Others have been published in Typishly, the online literary journal; in the K'in Literary Journal; in the Cordite Poetry Review; in Persephone's Daughters; and in di-verse-city 2018, the youth anthology of the Austin International Poetry Festival.

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