I was grounded
by my father he

made me stand 
on my one foot

like the shame pink
flamingo I saw 

that night by the
salt lake glistening

like a paraph on a
paper of sprinkled 

diamonds at the time
my mother died but

I was kissing you and 
the flamingo was so pink

the lake bleached your
lips lust pink when  

it was too late to call the 
ambulance my mother’s 

eyes poison pink lying
on the rust pink kitchen 

linoleum I knelt down 
whispering flamingo 

flamingo flamingo
realizing if I repeat 

a word more than ten 
times it would sound like 

coming from another time of 
another planet of scar pink

like the word mother
like the word mother

About the Author

Özge Lena (she/her) is an Istanbul-based writer/poet and an English language teacher who has a published novella titled Otopsi (The Autopsy). Her poems appeared in Green Ink Poetry, Fahmidan Journal, One Art Poetry Journal, Seiren Quarterly, Off Menu Press, and elsewhere. Her poetry was shortlisted for the Ralph Angel Poetry Prize 2021, judged by Mary Ruefle.


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