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Featured Poem • June 2015

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Philomela in Seven Movements

 

Natalia Theodoridou

 
 

On Mondays, she is a bird. She feeds him her egg, sunny side up and runny. “It’s yummy,” he says. “You should make this more often.” On Tuesdays, she is a tree. Trees speak. Their stories have no verbs. They say, over and over: “My leaves. My trunk. The air. The birds. The light. The earth. My leaves. My leaves. My leaves.” On Wednesdays, her smile is stuck to the back of her head. She walks around scaring people. On Thursdays, she stays in with a bad case of wandering womb. On Fridays, her skirt floats around her like a mournful sail in the Aegean. “Who died?” he teases. On Saturdays, she is a continent. “Only you and I here, my love,” she says. “Your axe and my wound. My love, my love.” On Sundays, she forgets her name. She thinks she’s a bird, and sings.

 

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Natalia TheodoridouNatalia Theodoridou is a theatre and cultural studies scholar. Originally from Greece, she is currently based in Portsmouth, UK. Her writing has appeared in The Kenyon Review Online, Clarkesworld, Strange Horizons, and elsewhere. Find her at www.natalia-theodoridou.com, or say hi at @natalia_theodor on Twitter.

About “Philomela in Seven Movements,” she writes, “I have a soft spot for people who are not what they seem, or not what one might expect—people who are trees, people who are stones—but, with Philomela, it’s always that tongueless song that truly gets me.”

 

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