Ezgi Toper

A Patchwork Flag

South Africa

Childhood laughter
Is lamented beneath sheets
of photographs           albums with
broken bones in their spines

Light dances across the plastic cover
Like ripples where two oceans kiss

City of thunderstorms—City of never being afraid



A floating opera of sad tunes
Everything seems reversed

Fog so dense it seeps
through my blood
But never touches that extra 8 ounces
of soul



My tongue has split
down the middle

Pressure of passion bursts my veins
Its contents bleed red and white
A trail of moon and star



I blend like water paint in a sea

in joyful strains
I sing and united
I shall stand

For this is the star of my people,
and it will forever shine;



To feel freedom—no—to feel freer
The curious unknown
Perhaps: another patch is to be sewn

Heart of Courage

Awakening from a daze, my eyes rest on the world around me

Nothing but decay and devastation inhabits this barren land

A consequence of war that none wanted to foresee

Yet a consequence of war that all knew was planned

In the distance

through the night like a morphed heart beat

Pumps to surrender
                    and pumps to retreat

The pace of the beat quickens!

A sudden realization then seizes me
It yanks me up onto my stiff bare feet
I’m the only living soul among this debris
The death toll list must be incomplete

I spot it amidst the dust-dense air
The Gates of the Graveyard extend
Beckoning me forth like a childish dare
As I take off at a run to my own end

I’m running on—pulled by strings
Like the messenger of the Gods
My feet have grown wings
I fly forward to beat the odds

A sense of urgency rushes over me
The hushed battle cries of fallen fighters
Now sound like a chorus of harmonizing banshees
Calling me to the realm of deceased writers

Further! Further! Further!
They cry out—and I push on—

The gates
          can’t close
                    they can’t
                              leave me


I run on
          ever closer
                    I refuse
                              to be

I am only
                                        from hell

Ezgi Toper is a first-year student in the College of Communications at Boston University. Ezgi’s life is filled with travel as she is a Turkish girl, born in South Africa, who has also lived in Australia before moving to Boston. She is currently Senior Editor for The Tab BU, a writer for the Arts and Culture section of The Buzz, and a Script Supervisor/Screenwriter for BU TV’s drama Shadows.