Orient Express

By Alaz Ada


a people
on my body,
because I would know
or would I?

I am from: nowhere
the place exists intermittently,
last seen in the eighteenth century.
I am from: the sea and the northern forests,
no mosque, no ancient city,
I am not from history.

I sit across my friend,
she is from: nowhere
a snapshot post-world-war-two
we are not: an atlas,
a travel guide,
she is from: the twenty first century.

I’ve got the Eastern blues
tied to bloodshed and I can’t cut my name loose,
I’ve got the bitterness of the not-quite,
the crescent on the passport,
their language and  their schools, a very long game,
entitled to no name.
waited four hundred years for the printing press, you can’t tire me.

as much of a has-been as your people, who are your people anyway?
you want to believe that there is good,
that you are not the mud up to knees and the earth in your lungs,
you want to believe that they can hear you.
the Western blues, the Eastern blues, the stuck-on-a-bridge blues,
8 pm on a weekday night,
got a sea running through my heart,
whichever I choose.


Alaz Ada is a student of the social sciences from Istanbul and is currently studying in Southern France, at the Menton campus of Sciences Po Paris. Her poetry has been published most recently in Selfish Magazine and is due to appear in the upcoming digital issue of FishFood Magazine. Her political essays appear in a regular column in her campus' newspaper, Le Zadig