The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Judith Terzi’s “Ghazal for a Chambermaid”

Judith Terzi


She slips the paper off the birthday gift.
Whose blood am I? Not even a dot. No spot
remains in the picture frame. Seven faces:
her mother and child sealed into their spaces
with father, mother-in-law, husband in slots.
I’m hands down out of the picture. My body
is quivering. The gypsy woman said, her hands,
her hands above her head, her head: “Now mind
your step, your milk will not flow. Give up the wish
for blood inclusion. You’re crucified.” No matter
how hard I try, I try, I can’t be that glossy
under Plexiglass sky. Step-water, not sangre,
I’m a stepping stone, like the gypsy said,
in streams of afterthought, in riverbeds.

This selection comes from Judith Terzi’s chapbook Ghazal for a Chambermaid, available from Finishing Line Press. Purchase your copy here!

If You Spot Your Brother Floating By is Judith Terzi‘s latest chapbook (Kattywompus). Recent poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Atlanta Review(International Publication Award, 2015), Caesura, The Centrifugal EyeThe Found Poetry Review, Trivia: Voices of FeminismUnsplendid, and Wide Awake: The Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond (Pacific Coast Poetry Series). She holds an M.A. in French Literature and taught high school French for many years as well as English at California State University, Los Angeles, and in Algiers, Algeria. Her poems have been nominated for Best of the Net and Web.

Noh Anothai was a researcher with the Thailand-United States Education Foundation (Fulbright Thailand) from 2011-12. In that time he translated programs and hosted cultural events for Thailand’s College of Dramatic Arts under the Ministry of Culture. Winner of Lunch Ticket’s inaugural Gabo Prize for Translation and Multilingual Texts in 2014, Anothai’s original poems and translations of Thai poetry have appeared in Ecotone, The Berkeley Poetry Review, and others.  He has contributed to Words Without Borders and Tin House, and serves as a reader for the  international River Styx poetry contest. He teaches for the online MFA program in Creative Writing at Lindenwood University.


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