Özge Lena

Two Poems


Revenge is a Hot Dish

It is said that if you upset a weasel
it always takes its revenge.
Sooner or later.
At the least expected time.
It is said that the weasels
put poison in your food.
A piece of mushroom maybe
or a leaf of oleander or blood
red rosary peas right into your soup
simmering in a summer’s evening.
It is said that you must never
make a weasel angry. Ever.
You must put rat or frog or bird
corpses on your roofing.
To make them happy.
And you must never take
one of their babies to pet
or to entertain your children.
You must give them no reason
to come close to your baby’s milk.
In the middle of a hot night
when the curtains beg for a blow
of breeze behind wide open windows.
Because it is said that weasels are silent
as death. They get even with you.
They do. They take an eye for an eye.
A tooth for a tooth they take.
And a baby. For a baby.

The Colour Carmine

I can never be the same woman
after learning the colour carmine

comes from cochineal insects.
After reading that these animals,

especially dried female ones
produce a vivid red pigment

when crushed. That the body
and the eggs of the powdered

insects are where this radiance
is extracted from. Carmine,

the colour of concrete death,
is often used to colour the food

and my lips you ate at the night
of your sudden leaving

me alone, confused and dry,
in our carmine bed.

After seeing your colour
comes from another female

of blushed waters, I can never
be the same woman. Crush me.
Özge Lena has a published novella titled “Otopsi” and her poems have appeared in Ink Sweat & Tears, Green Ink Poetry, Red Ogre Review, Harana, Acropolis Journal, The Phare, After Poetry, The Selkie, and elsewhere, also forthcoming in The London Magazine and iamb. Her poem “Celestial Body” is selected for Take Flight 2023 Best Poetry Anthology. Her poetry is shortlisted for the Ralph Angel Poetry Prize and Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition in 2021, and for The Plough Poetry Prize in 2023.

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