My mother is a woman,

One who enchants the wind with a golden tongue, 

twisting blasphemous words and hymns from lands far from me,

One whose back is whipped raw and harsh by blue fires fueled by endless rainfall,

One whose womanhood contradicts her role as mother.


And blessed be my mother,

Who has loved maybe once, maybe twice, maybe never again,

Who lays on her side a lamb, cold caressed against her frigid arms,

flush against the whimper of the surcease,

Who has gifted me with a whip of my own, 

one made of dancing sunfire and howling ash showers.


The day I walk in her shoes I will never see her again,

It is a solitary role—mother, a hushed secret—

and I’ll lay at the preacher’s feet

and let God give me the same but disparate scars,

and I’ll be a mother, but not a woman.


Celine is a 16-year-old student and poet based in Baku, Azerbaijan. Some of the main ideas she is deeply interested in and explores in her poems include the wonders and horrors of girlhood, suppressed desires, and the paradox of the human condition. In her spare time, she enjoys reading books sprawled in a sunny patch of grass and ponder over philosophical questions with her cat.