Cat Turhan

Cat Turhan

the odeon on the holloway road

was hit by two rockets during world war two,
and that in itself is not queer but the
art nouveau tiling and the ODEON sign pinned
like the HOLLYWOOD sign against the santa monica
mountains overlooking a turkish supermarket
and a ladbrokes feels queer. Unsurprising, then, that

in 2004 I kissed a girl in that cinema, months
before my fourteenth birthday, and before that we bought popcorn –
almost neon with butter – which was perhaps the worst thing
two teenage girls with hopes of kissing could have
bought. We sat about five rows from the back, confused by the marvellous
rippling of eric bana and the dress draped across diane kruger’s
body which looked as if it had been carved from
parthenon marble. And in that scene, where the helmet is

removed to reveal the slit and bleeding throat of patroclus,
‘cousin’ of achilles, she gripped my hand with such urgency I knew
that I should dig up my gums for lodged kernels. When
the coins were placed on the dead boy’s eyes, our lips

touched, slick with the butter and as delicious as salt,
spilt popcorn underfoot and the body burning.

CAT TURHAN is based in London. Her work has been published in various magazines including The Rialto, Anthropocene, Ink Sweat and Tears, Perhappened and The Lighthouse Literary Journal. In 2019 she was longlisted for the National Poetry Competition.