“Nicole Runs Her Fingers Through Her Hair,” “Medusa’s Revenge” and “As I Watch at the Last Dinner of the Year”

Aydin Akgün

“Nicole Runs Her Fingers Through Her Hair,” “Medusa’s Revenge” and “As I Watch at the Last Dinner of the Year”

Nicole Runs Her Fingers Through Her Hair

                          Like a willow

             branch that must rise

and sway

                           with the evening

              wind, she raises her hand

and runs her fingers

                                       through her hair.

                            Each time her hand rises,

                my breath

anchors itself in my throat

                          and I sink into a sea

                                       of metaphors.

                Now she is the willow;

a moment ago,

                          she was a chalk blue heron

                with black plume eyeliner

                                         cutting

                the wavy clouds of hair

                             with grey-tinted feathers.

                             One thing

never changes,

             her olivine eyes never rise

                                       to meet mine.

Medusa’s Revenge

In the crimson hall of the Royal Academy stands

the Olympian statue of proud Perseus

in a youthful, demi-god stance.

His unsheathed sword, with blood

trickling down its edge, points

to the ground, where a flood

of admirers gather to see the severed head

clutched by ophidian strands

of once venomous vipers. And yet, no trace

of loss, regret or sorrow lies

on the petrifying Gorgon’s face.

Only the upcurved lips reveal the bone

bare fact of her victory over Athena

and her hero forever trapped in stone.

As I Watch the Table at the Last Dinner of the Year

The golden flames of candles melt like wax

and cover crystal glasses, scalloped bone

china with necklace floral patterns of flax-

hued roses, ivy green vines, and mallow-toned

thistles. The diners’ lips are laced with sweet

compliments of the lamb that’s all but gone,

chased by righteous views on the rich, the poor,

the rising taxes.  Drunken mirth…And yet,

the growing shadows of empty bottles spread

over scattered silver.  The broken bread

crumbles, and drops of crimson stain the white

cloth when a guest rises to kiss the host,

betraying through subtle gesture to most,

the time has come to wish them all good night.

About the Author

Aydin Akgün

My name is Aydin Akgün and I am a novelist and a poet. I was born and raised in Izmir, Turkey. I graduated from the Lycée Saint Joseph in Izmir and moved to the United States in 1995. I received my B.A. in both International Relations and French from the University of Nevada, Reno, in 2000, and my M.A. in Creative Writing in both poetry and fiction from Johns Hopkins University in 2009. I live and work in Washington D.C. Some of my poems have been published in several literary journals — The Chicago Literary Review, The Potomac Review, Curating Alexandria, and Hotel Amerika.