Poems from Ayse Teksen

Most Nights

Most nights I feel lonely

even when I’m not

feeling guilty

over a pleasure

forbidden to me.

But it’s the hardest

when words flow over me

and pour onto me.

I’m not young anymore,

and yet I still can’t figure out

how to control them

or to direct them

toward happy places,

bright futures,

and hopeful sentences.

Would it be a sin now

to confess

that most of the time

I hate writing


onto sheets

and blank white pieces

of screens

at home,

at work,

at bus stops,

and subway stations?

I’m afraid

I’m not afraid

of admitting

I cried—

no, I wailed—

at METU subway station

this evening

on my way home

as if I had one.

No home,

no shelter,

only lack of dignity

floating about me

and hovering loudly

to get my attention

because at times

I try—

I try

to forget

to forgive

and to let things

and small miracles happen

and to live sensitively

and sensibly.

But no,

it doesn’t happen;

life does not happen.

It awaits

a miraculous call

from above

to visit me

and take my hand.

The address is given

and noted down wrong,

and the message half delivered.

One day I hope

the message and the whispers

will be heard better,

and prayers answered,

and then I will get to

and die at

my happy place,

having met

and lived

a life.

Moving Shadows

Moving shadows

over a mountaintop,

deep in their glimmer

against a sky

full of dreams.

This image

keeps me cozy

in this lonely night among

days of plenty Septembers.

I’m thirty now,

having paved a road

not taken by many.

I count myself



to have had this life

alongside other lives

that accompanied it

through many

deterred days

and nights aflame.

I feel grateful

for all the loss

that has been gained

and for all the benefits lost.

I’ve bought a destiny,

packed a future, and

started my walk

down an avenue

long forgotten

and not revered enough.

Random Poem

A dazzling ache

I want to be.

In your bones.

So feel me.

Feel it

with me.

Feel the rhythm

and the music,

Also the words.


how they make love

and giggle


in my hair.

My skin, too.

Don’t be awed

by how

I turn you into runes

though I know

you were not born

to be some letters

but tunes,

a mystical harmony

to be found

and hidden

by your most precious hands.

Knowing they will hold me

is my peace now.

And I shall live forever

for this reason


About Ayse Teksen

Ayse Teksen lives in Ankara, Turkey where she works as a research assistant at the Department of Foreign Language Education, Middle East Technical University. Her work has been included in Gravel, After the Pause, The Write Launch, Uut Poetry, The Fiction Pool, What Rough Beast, Scarlet Leaf Review, Seshat, Neologism Poetry Journal, Anapest, Red Weather, Ohio Edit, SWWIM Every Day, The Paragon Journal, Arcturus, Constellations, the Same, The Mystic Blue Review, Jaffat El Aqlam, Brickplight, Willow, Fearsome Critters, Susan, The Broke Bohemian, The Remembered Arts Journal, Terror House Magazine, and Dash. Her work has also appeared or is forthcoming in Straylight, Lavender Review, Shoe Music Press, and Havik: Las Positas College Anthology.


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