Five Poems

Réka Nyitrai

Kinky poem

This is a kinky poem.
As soon as possible
I will tell you about my kinks.
But for now I am stuck with the dishes
and laundry, and afterward shopping
as the freezer is empty
and my husband wants steak.
As for the kinks: I want you to know that nowadays
I wear a sloppy sweater and some stained pants.
I haven’t washed my hair for days and
my legs and most intimate parts
are unshaved. What’s funny though,
is that the thing I enjoy most
is vacuuming naked.
Now, if you happen to talk with my husband,
please do me a favor
and speak highly of
this robot.

Half moon

Whilst climbing a ladder
which is leant against the sky
you keep asking
if we have enough minced beef
to prepare your favorite dish —
stuffed cabbage rolls
in sour cream.


an inexpressible pain. a snake’s tongue inside a horse. a boy tied to his mother’s apron. the eyes of the neighbors. the mouths of the neighbors. crows. a sad house and its inhabitants. a nail-filled cocoon. apples, bruised. a mother spilling out explanations. stories to be invented. the man with the hammer. the pull of bottles. screams they puddle. the whip crack of a belt. red-dotted walls. a barefoot boy through the streets. a man sleeping it off. wishing him dead.

Paganini in love

It was June in Los Angeles and for months Paganini had been stalking strangers on the streets. During the day he photographed women; mostly blondes. At night he lashed his violin until the face of each nameless woman turned to music. Music for a breezy night; music for skyscrapers; music for boulevards; music for unlit windows and messy kitchen tables. Music for a starry sky. Most recently, the face of one petite Russian blonde he had photographed on Sunset Boulevard, possessed him. He needed her pretty face to fill his nights with aubades and spilled milk. He named her Katya. Night after night, in sprays of light plucked from his violin, he called out her name. But the only person to respond was the man in the apartment directly below. ‘Keep the noise down,’ he shouted, ‘Right down now or I’ll call the cops’.

Postmortem erection

It feels like I am from another planet. From the passing tram the hand of an old woman waves. On the platform, an empty plastic bag and three hopping sparrows. I was completing an intimate questionnaire while you were preparing drinks. In my bough a red-haired mummy started to sleep talk. We made love again and again, until the pebbles I’d gathered in my belly began to swim. After breeding I told you of my obsession with woodpeckers and their intimacy with rain. I told you about my childhood and how I never felt loved. I told you about the snowbanks I buried in my mouth. When I noticed the black band around your left arm I knew I was dead.

Réka Nyitrai is a spell, a sparrow, a lioness's tongue — a bird nest in a pool of dusk. She is the recipient of a Touchstone Distinguished Books Award for 2020 for her debut haiku volume "While Dreaming Your Dreams" (Valencia Spain: Mono Ya Mono Books, 2020)..