top of page

Ozge Lena



the poet

Özge Lena's poems have appeared in The London Magazine, Ink Sweat & Tears, Green Ink Poetry, harana poetry, Verse of April, Carmen et Error, The Phare, After..., The Selkie, Red Ogre Review and elsewhere. Her poem Celestial Body was picked for Flight of the Dragonfly Press' 2023 anthology Take Flight. Özge's poetry was shortlisted for both the Ralph Angel Poetry Prize and the Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition in 2021, as well as for The Plough Poetry Prize in 2023.

the poems

Rose Tragedy

00:00 / 01:25

            Whenever I think of roses, I feel a palm 

            of thorns down my throat. I remember you. 

            Your last smile. I remember that June day.  

            That we were in the garden, drinking wine 

            the colour of the lonely rose. Deep, dangerous 

            magenta. That you were laughing. Then wind, 

            and a petal floated in the air before falling softly

            into your glass. That it reminded me of something 

            that had thorns, something happened a long time 

            ago, some deep thing that pricked into my belly, 

            eating me from inside. That you took the dangerous 

            colour into your mouth. You chewed it to make me 

            laugh. Wet pieces on your teeth shone like jewels.

            That you coughed. And you choked. Dark pink 

            foams burst out of your lips. Then the ambulance. 

            And the funeral. At last came the calm of autumn. 

            With me, alone in the garden. With a glass full

            of innocent pink. With the thorns. I think of you

            while spraying toxin to kill their larvae. Because once

            a rose blooms, they grow eating its ovary from inside.


00:00 / 01:04

there it was 

all of a sudden

in the middle of the city

bursting out asperous clusters

of extensions bleeding shamelessly

onto the pale ice like punctured lungs

/ you are in a collapsed world / you are in a fallen city in a collapsed world /

you are with the white death in a fallen city in a collapsed world

/ you are a hungry thing /

there it was 

all of a sudden

in the middle of the city

blossoming amaranth veins

of extensions bleeding deathlessly

onto the pale ice like exploded hearts

/ you are a hungry thing running naked / you are running naked to run  

into the last flower / imagine the taste of the last flower

/ imagine the sweet poison /

Last Summer Before
Seasons Disappeared

00:00 / 01:25

            It was the summer of star shaped ice cubes

            on your pink chest or between my breasts.

            It was the summer of bottles of blushed wine

            that we kept drinking from each others’ mouths

            in the abiding afternoons when it was forbidden

            to go out both by the doctors and the government.

            It was the summer of daily curfews, of no work.

            It was the summer of not knowing what to do

            but to love each other and to hate each other

            and to swim on one another’s aflame body

            within cerise sheets, naked all day, hungry.

            It was the summer of sirens, of announcements,

            of heat-stricken bodies collapsing in the streets.

            It was the summer of dust, the summer of lust

            when your fingers were drawing love words

            on my skin in a language that I didn’t know.

            It was the summer of your going

            out to buy another bottle of blush

            and coming back later as a funeral.

            It was the summer of knowing the world

            was going to be the same never again,

            that it was falling into a starry void,

            falling free, forever,

            just like me.

Publishing credits

All poems: exclusive first publication by iamb


S h a r e

bottom of page