Zalongo. Poetry Winner, Fall 2020 Contest.

by Sophia Noulas


Victims are the ones who refuse
to become casualties

In the sun our eyes
have crusted like pressed apricots
the mountains drip over our footsteps
hiding we recognize the men
before they want us, there is no
conscience here
no matter how many steps we rock
we slip forward with every kick
we do not need the brass to shine
for the bells to ring
they run for us and we cry
pamé, bethya mou
hear the ground play
the ankle where the twist comes in
what shivers needs air, light-shoes
watch chewed-cheek quicker
open the knees and pray
we are the instruments the canyon
strums to sing freedom
fall on those who leap one-line
mud-throat to the sky-crane
our hips will not bounce
the rhythm of a body not yours
heave and shunt its breath
gravity is a war without ululation
we win our eyes awake
her palms loose and empty
watch my sister snap her fingers
she gasps as she rises
the last one dancing

Sophia Noulas is a graduate of Fordham University’s Creative Writing Program. She works at a digital media company and is also a reader for Electric Literature. She has friends at Frontier Poetry, the New York Poetry Society, and Unofficial Brooklyn Poetry. Previously published work can be found in La Piccioletta Barca, High Shelf Press, and upcoming pieces will be released in the 2021 edition of Aurora, an Anthology by Allegory Ridge.

IG: @sophia_noulas

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