Pastilles, past stills; or, a poem

By Gamze S. Saymaz




Would someone explain to me how to breathe

with moth-eaten lungs covered by a mouldy rib cage, it will crumble any second now,

sucking the tulle-thin flesh in with every attempt like the wailing breeze

if I confessed to you, and to you only

how visibly weak in the joints I am when you are all sleeping and how much you can possibly hurt me

(gently, please)


Would someone shake me from my statue shoulders

pierce them with wires transparent tie them in a bow over my spine so I would stand straight


at how strong I am I can stare open a rock melt away skin then close your eyes I will crumble any second


into ice-cube molecules and fervent dreams abreast

I am only human at best

lurching through bequeathed catacombs with cloudy eyes

stuff my dimly-lit wounds with cobwebs sloppily rolled into cotton balls

and some lace creased, stitch me up with the eyelashes you picked with your teeth everytime I cried

with a thick cloth in my mouth (don’t


prick my bruises, cut them

out, nicely, fill in the holes with some clay, (quick), carve, steady, sculpt, brush away the dust, pare puckers, paint them positive petrified, polish sunshine and sword-like, steel, so they fit

so I fit

I look like a girl deserving of a smile

I’d be oh so much prettier if stars spark in my eyes without shooting home

or glistening jewels behind a pool film ripped apart

a swamp


you would call it

or a flooded anthill

and I a fearless fighter if only I could use the right kind of muscles the ones that tone my I am un


I should wear my face as a shield that reads un-


but fingertips caress, take cover, glass, shatter, shrink, sluice lifts, leak

but maybe my eyeballs are wet from standing against the wind for too long without blinking

because it would mean I, too, was capable of bleeding

undress me here of my fatal flaw

wipe away weak

wipe away sad, “miserable,”

fragile, sensitive,


wipe away human

wipe away, I don’t feel like smiling


lurching through bequeathed catacombs with cloudy eyes

who else would count the heirlooms with such infantile greed, from where veins break into river arms I will flourish

but, for now, I will crawl and sleep inside of your mouth

if you don’t mind




Gamze S. Saymaz is a (screen)poet who has recently turned one of her poems into an experimental video art project that can be seen here throughout February. She has a Youtube channel where she recites original poetry and promotes public performances of personal vulnerability for some probably pretentious reason. You can also follow her on Instagram for screening updates.