Nora Selmani is a bilingual babe, feminist killjoy, and recent lit graduate based in London. Her principal interest is in gendered diasporic experiences, especially in poetry. Her work has previously appeared in Dead King MagazineFEMRAT, and Porridge, which she also co-edits.  She currently works as a publishing marketing assistant. Nora can be found on twitter @arbnoraselmani.

2 poems by Nora Selmani

Kafe Turke

 

A slab of wood, resting against the doorframe,

mutes the thick voices travelling into the kitchen.

 

The lights are off.

 

Flames dance on candlewicks and in their ochre light,

I rearrange cubes of Turkish delight on chipped white saucers.

 

They glint like teeth.

 

I think of pulped knuckles and blood dribbling on kitchen tiles

as I stand over the coffee and watch the surface tremble.

 

I look up towards the door,

there’s a hiss as the coffee boils over. 

 

 

 

 

 

gurbet

 

the strings of the çifteli twitch underneath my fingers

playing songs in my grandmother’s voice,

a thin wail, husky from tobacco,

a sound untouched by time’s hands

 

my despair is lost in the dance

dispersed amongst unfamiliar bodies around me

 

under the blanched heat of homesickness

i melt away

my heart crackles in my chest

it feels like being burnt alive

 

i came here a boy but now have grown old

 

i call on my friends

we have spent our youth away from home

chasing the world and its gold

running from conflict and finding it within ourselves

 

we overfill glasses

and drink to forget where we are