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

Judith Terzi

Sevens

Summer’s end slipped off me like a satin robe.
No beginner’s manual in a Chevrolet sedan.
I didn’t even have to twist out of panty hose.

Weeks later in a motel room he chose, autumn
clung to my body. I was bound to a weekend.
No beginner’s manual in a Chevrolet sedan.

I was tied to rice and lamb, to saffron in Oakland.
Smell of onion saturated sheets and hair and skin.
Autumn clung to me. I was bound to a weekend.

I was chained to sevens. To the sabbath and sin.
I was lying shivah in a motel room downtown.
Smell of onion saturated sheets and hair and skin.

Caught like a hand in an octave. Down for the count,
the seven parts of speech. Seven times. Basta.
I was lying shivah in a motel room downtown.

No pillar of wisdom, no wellspring in Be’er Shiva.
I begged the spirits to rid me of bondage, jail.
The seven parts of speech. Seven times. Basta.

I tied my heart way back into a pony tail.
Summer’s end slipped off me like a satin robe.
I begged the spirits to rid me of bondage, jail.
I didn’t even have to twist out of panty hose.


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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