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The Turtles are Coming Again

By Hibah Shabkhez -


Kaplumbağalar tekrar geliyorlar. You wriggle your toes in memory of the sand as you watch them pour out of the sea and spread upon a shore huddled into a pane of glass, these hunched mestful creatures whose dwindling the voice-over laments. Kaplumbağalar tekrar geliyorlar, one last time, believing the earth to be fair and free, entrusting it their children, and you wince, you writhe, you cry out a warning; but you only startle the crow on the windowsill that is amusing itself by staring at you while it waits for its murder. Kaplumbağalar tekrar geliyorlar, and you whisper your too-long-left apologies to them, imagine the faces that turned away from you in pain and disgust uncontorted and smiling once again under grey shells burrowing into the screen-sand, imagine them offering you forgiveness and redemption. Kaplumbağalar tekrar geliyorlar, one last time, and you can only see them in this flickering box, but it is enough, it is enough, it is enough.


Hibah Shabkhez is a writer of the half-yo literary tradition, an erratic language-learning enthusiast, and a happily eccentric blogger from Lahore, Pakistan. Her work has previously appeared in Plainsongs, Microverses, Sylvia Magazine, Better Than Starbucks, Post, Wine Cellar Press, and a number of other literary magazines. Studying life, languages, and literature from a comparative perspective across linguistic and cultural boundaries holds a particular fascination for her. You can find her links on her Linktree:

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