Réka Nyitrai 

Third eye

To become a rose I ate roses for a week.

The first serving tasted like grass grown in a mountain pasture, mown at dawn by sleepless moonlight-cured boys. 
I dreamt about those boys; I hid under an anthill, heart buzzing like a bee, knowing they wished to cut me open. 
I was afraid they might hear my heart and find me. I was afraid they might pull me by the hair from this coffin. 
I was afraid they might make me feel alive.

The second serving tasted like grass cut from a grave. That night I dreamt of growing old; of sleeping naked in 
a flower field. And, as I slept my body shrank and my skin dried and wrinkled until I was nothing more than 
grey hair, limp flesh and folded skin.

The third serving tasted like moonstones; moonstones dipped in mother’s milk. That night I dreamt I was a stone, 
a rain and wind-whipped pebble. I knew I had lain in that field for centuries. And I knew that I would be there 
for centuries to come — until finally I might begin to soften and flow.

These are my memories of roses and the weeks when my third eye opened.

Made of owl's feathers

Again, I dream
of the golden hook.
It gleams
and cuts the black scent of silence
into small cubes.
I am tired.
This time, I know that
I will not wake up.
Yet, you shall
look for me
even if I do not
believe that you or I
ever existed in any other form
than moon dust.


Even though nature has blessed me with dimples and a youthful face, no-one has ever considered me to be one of the 
beautiful girls. It’s not like I wasn’t complimented. I was. Maybe more often than I would have liked. Let’s just say 
that I got bored of hearing distant relatives and strangers repeating what a good-looking boy I was! To prove them 
correct, when I turned thirteen, I shaved my head and started to wear combat pants and boots. Even now, at forty-five, 
I am still a tomboy. Certainly, you won't find any dresses or skirts in my wardrobe. It’s true, that in the end, I gave 
up on the combat pants and boots, but I still can’t imagine myself in high heels. Nowadays no-one calls me a boy, 
except for my husband who, when I cook something delicious, says nothing but: Oh, boy! Oh, boy! This is the highest 
praise he can offer.

A woman shopping

After dying you book a room at Hotel Budapest. You ask for what you could not afford while alive: a fancy hot tub 
suite with a view of the Danube. After an exhaustive shopping spree you return with all the dresses and shoes you 
yearned for whilst alive. You take a light dinner at the hotel’s restaurant. Tired, your body craves rest and sleep, 
but your heart still enjoys how finely the hotel’s old violinist plays. After dinner you order champagne for your 
room. You prepare the hot tub, pour some champagne and place Baudelaire’s poems close to hand. You are ready to soak 
and talk poetry with the moon. Before letting your head disappear under the water you think about the loneliness 
of those fancy dresses and shoes you bought, but never wore.  

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