Issue 6 / Poetry

Poetry by Natalia Mujadzic


To fold my limbs into a white paper crane is the greatest thing I can do.

Just watch as my sharp paper heart bends so easy, watch how flexible

I can be. Pinch my arms and legs with your calloused fingertips

                                                           and split my torso in two, hands and feet meet in the middle.

     I am half the me I was before you. Crease my skin and

apply steady pressure. My flimsy lungs will tear because

         you don’t know which flaps to fold and I can

only take so much wear. I whisper

             you’re hurting me but you’re

       faster now. You seal my mouth,

         bend, fold, crease, until

                         I am reduced.


My Words, Your Broken Mouth

Thank you for cooking zesty lemon orzo tonight

and for chopping extra slivers of scallions

to appease my dull palate. I’m sorry you saw me


soak the light dish in Cholula hot sauce, for staining

eggshell bittersweet. Thank you for leaving the apartment

three hours ago, after I undressed you


only to squeeze the soft mounds atop your buried ribcage

briefly in my cold palm and return to the beckoning

computer screen, instead of shedding half-moon tears


I don’t know how to dry. Thank you for not mentioning

four years without a single orgasm and still swallowing

my salty appreciation over and over again.


Thank you for your steady warmth against my turned back,

for donning a folded smile while your teeth are clenched tight,

preserving a lost tongue in the dark.



Natalia Mujadzic currently studies creative writing at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. Her work has appeared in HUMID and is forthcoming in The Blue Route and Sugared Water. Selected by Dawn Lundy Martin.

Image © Brett Jordan via Flickr Creative Commons.