By Ayshe-Mira Yashin

November, my first walk along the river in your absence,

I remembered how you spoke to me in Russian

and pretended that I would know what the words meant on

that day when we walked here together

and witnessed the cows having sex

The memory of this, unlike the moment itself, wasn’t funny

At the memory I didn’t laugh but slumped my shoulders

I slumped my shoulders like branches of the willow trees

November, my first walk along the river in your absence

I remembered the last time we came here with pens and notebooks and

you drew the willow trees and I drew you

(I couldn’t look away from you for long enough to draw anything else) and

you rested your head on my shoulder

and I could feel your exhales resting on my neck

The memory of this, unlike the moment itself, wasn’t lovely

At the memory I didn’t sigh in blissfulness but wept

[my weeps as the whispers of the willow trees in the wind]

November, my first walk along the river in your absence

Like the willow leaves which brushed against me

I could feel your exhales resting on my neck,

despite the fact that I was there and

you were elsewhere

I had done this before, imagining you to be there

except this time there was no touch of yours

to await

November, my first walk along the river in your absence

I retrieved the hammock from my Nicosia garden

I tied the hammock in between two willow trees

and I released my body to the hammock and felt

the willow branches brushing against me

[as your exhales over my neck]

I laid there swinging back and forth

in between the willow trees

I didn’t leave

I never left

I had decided that that was where I would wait for you,

with the willow leaves mimicking

your exhales once over my neck.

 Ayshe-Mira Yashin is a 17-year-old artist and poetess from Istanbul and Nicosia, exploring themes of spirituality and Sapphic love. She recently created a Tarot deck, and is working on an illustrated poetry collection. See my shop, where she sell prints, necklaces, bookmarks, stickers, handmade notebooks and tarot cards here: https://www.ayshemira.com/the-illustration-witch-shop.