Zalehah Turner: Four Poems

Zalehah Turner Biographical Note  Mark Roberts interviews Zalehah Turner

Leaf Litter. Photograph by Zalehah Turner

Comfort zone

out of her comfort zone
limitless without reason
thin boundaries
dividing and conquering
a timeline where comfort
meets kill
zoned for re-development

temperaments
made and delivered
pegged for down time
in the red light district
a phosphorescent display
the air toxic
with the scent
of chemicals

she asks for a taste
on tick, tempting fate
and testing boundaries
crossing the strip
with a careless disregard
for passing cars

he is waiting
at the fountain
testing the limits
of personal space
exhaling as she moves
through trial and error
borderline, non-negotiable

she leaves, eyes glazed
her stance altered
almost hesitant
a distancing technique
for crossing thin
boundaries

Slip Light. Photograph by Zalehah Turner

Intimate distance

a space lies
between words, a light
pause
ambivalent and hovering

a breath in
lips, half open
half closed
like eyes crusted
with dream
sleep in spin cycle

liminal loop
wholes turning
taciturn corners
in the blink
of an I
until
breathless
two become one
tongue-tied, in the space
where lies meet

mistakes compound
over the intimate
distance
under cover
of space craft

Space to Fire. Photograph by Zalehah Turner

The other side of madness

we find ourselves
at a loss for words
carving wholes
out of reason
delivering lies
in an increasingly
internal space
lying on the other
side of madness

I’m trying you on for size
our hands fit so closely it hurts
too heinous this crime
which makes one rely
on an ‘other’
only to wake, screaming
arm in arm
finding time for the eternal
in a moment’s breath

Negative Space. Photograph by Zalehah Turner

Miscarriage of justice

I’m bleeding

embryonic tissue
fallen but not forgotten
mixes with the blood
of afterlife
thick and congealed
dispersing at a rate
which few
but the willing
and only children
care to watch
the loss of life
counted in weeks
into water, untouched

by a priest
the committed atheist
within buries blind
faith deep
beneath layers
of facia and connective
tissue, scarred
but never scared

I release
my finger
from the button
where I had maintained
constant and steady
pressure, twisted life
saving techniques
kicking in
when least needed

water pressure
takes its course
pulling my insides
under so quickly
it hurts

straight
and unblessed
into the mains
making me rethink
closure
and belief

forgetting
is harder than you
think and I don’t

believe
in the afterlife
there is only space
where no one
can hear you
scream

 –  Zalehah Turner