Poems by Christina LilianTurczyn: “Lena Speaks–A Persona Poem”

 

Copyright by Christina L. Turczyn 2016

Lena Speaks: A Persona Poem

one day I fail an exam and no one knows why no one knows the phone calls I’ve been getting and the looks and the walks to my car and the lectures on why I’d rather talk theory than roses and no one knows why I don’t have a heart for these things why I don’t have a mouth for them either no one no one knows why I drop out of school and lose years to dull work and quarrel with male shrinks who suggest that I always want to be on top no one no one picks me up when I fall when I crawl on the ground and my life writhes under silence like a snake of false words no one listens to my silence to a tree that grows behind my back year after year soon its apples are beyond my reach and its shadows become my spine no one listens to my gestures speak to the way I cry behind your back like a leaf turning in a windless sky cry like the bone-white skin of a star twitching in space no one

so I have lived and I have done these things and more and I have carved my words out of the silence of my bone and I have dripped white rain of song and I have taken every word from the black earth of my thought and I have taken every word from my children never conceived and I have written down hope in braille and followed blindly its staccato path and I have lost everything once and then again and I have been proud and crescent thin–almost invisible

so tell me how I should theorize these things because I feel that those who theorized my academic decline did not think it would ever really happen if they did they would have used different words used words I understood and I would not have failed have failed with a nearly perfect academic record so tell me how you theorize the sound of your life falling stillborn through your body and the way that you bend to pick it up and the way that you bend and the way that you bend and the way that you rise because you simply choose to do so because you simply were that close to dying because you found there was a mortal cost to saying I read paul celan because I love his work I love it and no more no less than that

–Finalist in the Salem College Center for Women Writers Rita Dove National Poetry Awards

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