Katerina Stoykova: My Tongue, My Enemy

My Tongue, My Enemy

Without you—blood in the mouth.
I swallow, the Latin
serifs scratch.
My tongue, my brother.
Decorated, perforated—
metal ball rolls
along the teeth like a
perverse arrowhead.
Tongue or Death.
My tongue, my own carcass.
My tongue, another friend
whom I’ve betrayed.
Shouldering guilt,
the innocent start running.
My tongue, my scream—
scream of shame.
My tongue, my bow—
I release you with no aim.
My tongue, my home.
Forgive me. I am gone.

from: Katerina Stoykova: The Porcupine of Mind (Broadstone Books 2012)

The author writes in English and Bulgarian. The Porcupine of Mind contains poems written in English.

Katerina Stoykova

Katerina Stoykova is the author of poetry books in English and Bulgarian, most recently Second Skin (ICU, 2018, Bulgarian) and the bilingual Bird on a Window Sill (Signs, 2017, English and Bulgarian). The Bulgarian edition of How God Punishes was published by ICU in 2014 and won the Ivan Nikolov National Poetry Prize. Katerina is the editor and the main translator of The Season of Delicate Hunger: Anthology of Contemporary Bulgarian Poetry (Accents Publishing, 2014). For six years she hosted the literary radio show Accents on WRFL 88.1FM. In 2010, Katerina launched the independent literary press Accents Publishing. Katerina co-wrote the independent feature film Proud Citizen, directed by Thom Southerland, and acted in the lead role.

Photo credit: Katerina Stoykova

This blog post is part of #BulgarianLiteratureMonth.

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