Three Poems by beyza ozer

by Leslie Anne Mcilroy


stopped. This is after the dog bite from Wrigley who lived next door, after the conversation with mom in the cold basement, & after she cried over the girl she thought I was. This is after trips to different countries, too scared to try the new foods because of allergic reactions & sensitive skin. This is after my grandfather left & I forgot his name for two years because no one would say it. This is after my grandmother admitted that she wishes for death sometimes. This is before I met the love who I then lost. This is before gender & poetry. This is a trip to Turkey in 2007, This is the first time I think about death & how it could happen if I wanted it to. A wave crashes on the shore, a woman screams, or laughs.



I write my eulogy on the ceiling of my bedroom so I never have the impulse to look up. Cremation is forbidden but where else would I go? No darkness from the ground will put me to rest. Allah lütfen let me lift this body to the moon. The skyscrapers poke holes into the night & before I close my eyes. Before it's time to leave I sit up under the covers & remember that no one wants me today. I turn the sun off; she leaves without trying to convince me otherwise. Allah, how do I grow now?



& worry when Blue doesn't return? Do I bite my nails or read Bluets or eat a bagel or go on Tinder or plant some fresh things to kill or learn a new language to impress new women or adopt a pet rabbit or pick up my old guitar or write a poem with no form : purpose / sensitivity — clarity or find a window to break or travel to a body of water that hasn't felt me inside of it yet or drive astolen car without a license or call my mom to talk about the news or watch the ceiling until the cracks break open? There should be more here, I know, but Blue could never end things with me, either — will never leave or stop the overflow. Who do I have now to complain about the/my body, where nothing fits as it should and never will? There is a box of letters waiting to be burned but all my flame is left between floorboards of an old apartment with too many windows.

beyza ozer is a queer/trans/Muslim writer living in Chicago. beyza's work has appeared in & is forthcoming from The Offing, Pinwheel, Vinyl, Nightblock, Witchcraft Magazine, Shabby Doll House, & the anthology SUBJECT TO CHANGE: TRANS POETRY & CONVERSATION (Sibling Rivalry Press 2017). beyza is the author of FAIL BETTER (fog machine 2017) & I DON'T MEAN TO REDSHIFT(Maudlin House 2016). They are deputy director of social media at YesYes Books. beyza works at The Poetry Foundation.