← Issue 3


by Ayşe Tekşen

How commas come,
Where they go,
When they appear,
How they separate
and sometimes link,
How they create 
or sew
the gaps in-between,
How they make divergent domains 
How they mingle 
among characters 
of letters 
and at times numerals,
How they divorce me 
from the outer world,
How they make me suffer.
Possibly with everything 
they may go.
But it’s a decision in the end—
like every breath.
Do we
unite or detach

they from they,
she from he,
it from another it?
When the comma arrives,
a cardinal is made 
into a fractional, 
Maybe into ever 
less than a quarter. 
Queasy there, though
never reduced to naught.
Every so often I know
it is not a choice.
A necessity 
There it is.
A way of interaction,
a bit of communication,
Across worlds.


Ayşe Tekşen lives in Ankara, Turkey where she works as a research assistant at the Department of Foreign Language Education, Middle East Technical University. Her work has been included in Gravel, After the Pause, The Write Launch, Uut Poetry, The Fiction Pool, What Rough Beast, Scarlet Leaf Review, Seshat, Neologism Poetry Journal, Anapest, Red Weather, Ohio Edit, SWWIM Every Day, The Paragon Journal, Arcturus, Constellations, the Same, The Mystic Blue Review, Jaffat El Aqlam, Brickplight, Willow, Fearsome Critters, Susan, The Broke Bohemian, The Remembered Arts Journal, Terror House Magazine, Shoe Music Press, Havik: Las Positas College Anthology, Deep Overstock, Lavender Review, Voice of Eve, Dash, The Courtship of Winds, Mizmor Anthology, Mojave Heart Review, NōD Magazine, Toyon Literary Magazine, and Sincerely. Her work has also appeared or is forthcoming in Straylight, Headway Quarterly, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Tipton Poetry Journal, and Rabid Oak.