Aida Muratoglu

The Kid Who Accepts Blame

I’m hardly scraping by with all the crushes I have

Towering over the city and here I am in a van

Driving down to North Carolina—there’s a highway stoppage.

I’m that kid whose lips are ripe for kissing,

Plumped not from the tingling kind of lip gloss that makes

Your lips bigger but from all the cherries I had for lunch.

Let’s be faithful to the soft part of the cheeseburger,

Its juices the most erotic thing I’ve seen in months:

I surrender to the meat and the dairy and the soft soft bun.

My love (I have one, it turns out) has found her headphones

They were buried in the bed and had slipped under

My side butt. It is very sexy in there. A sexy sexy crevasse.

Learn to love the cold pizza you find in fridge morning after,

When I visited my friends they were moving out of the apartment

Where the landlord had asked them to leave for the night when they had a home birth.

I regret not a single thing! I embrace the sunlight at dawn and the

Sunlight at evening. I especially love the sky behind the mosque

At sunset on the very first Tuesday of June.

Katherine has decided to be helpful today. Franny drove the van.

Tashi’s giddy at driving. I eat a Kit Kat for dessert

And sit up tall like my mother tells me to.

Drink your fill every day and night, Aida; and kiss it, too,

Good night and good morning in all the languages you can tongue.

It’s never a mistake to kiss the wet towel hanging on the doorframe


Peel me a clove. Your

hand is begging for it,

fingers itching to crush

garlic skin

til it sprays ocean salt.

It’s simple: the food

grows at the table,

roots prickling into

the wood, through

dog-eared cookbooks.

In your kitchen, all

the boxes are unpacked.

The fridge has more

than enough for us and

fewer than three rotting

forgotten vegetables.

You use your scallions

days before they wilt.

Sad scallions, flopping,

limp dicks.

A clove peels me.

My pants unzip.

You keep telling me

you want a clown

tattoo right in the

middle of your pubes.

I heard garlic gets

rid of UTIs


& English becomes transitional object—

neither food nor cat,

light nor open nor


cats Katz shacked snacked

snagged bedragged the shot

widens and


the cat, şaşkın,

open, the tea served

light, açık, wide,

steeped softly


the cat sakin

noticing itself

drawing simple

with its nose.

English worries

and rushes

and overexplains

can’t laugh at itself





my elastic

(the one that lives on my wrist)

withered, gave its final contorted breath,

gone w/ a sigh not

a snap

a shame, really.

It’s still there,

just without its utility.

Loops around my

hair six times

instead of three


we devam and devam,

space widens then softens,

şaşkın space—

where’d you come from?

Oof ouch wide

upside down

the cat flicks

the scat lick

if I could live

inside a curtain

I would



Aida Muratoglu is a poet and essayist living in Brooklyn, NY, whose work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in pan-pan press, the Lavender Review, and the Critical Flame.