Zela Odessa Palmer

in fiction


Stuck in a space in between,
Moving back and forth
And in a state of flux,
I find myself on the edge of reality and fiction.

Moving my feet, belongings and thoughts
from one place to the other
I turn the pages,
Maybe this time
I might just—

This time.

This time,
I will find the time to walk through the dunes,
To walk on the shore
And be inspired by the water.
I will invent myths of goddesses and monsters
And let these heroines live through my eyes,
Through my history, to tell the tale.

Crossing margins and borders,
These lines of fiction, my legacy,
Will be what I take with me.
Heavy and awkward in shape,
They will be what I leave behind, too.
I whisper them to you,
Surrounded by warm dim lights
And a filled darkness we cannot see past.

I have spent my years in my mind,
In folklore, thinking
Of the next road to take
Wasting my time
To get to tomorrow’s hike
If only then I would—

This time,

This time,
I could tell you stories of wordless worlds,
I could talk to you through silence,
I could describe my thoughts in abstract paradise,
I could find the words to leave you speechless

And possibly,
This time,
I could stop waiting for next time.


Zela Odessa Palmer is a visual artist and writer currently working and living in Amsterdam, where she was born in 1997. She received her BFA in Fine Arts at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague in 2022. As a queer woman of color she has a passion for equal rights and discussing those in an approachable manner through art. Through intuitively writing and drawing she creates abstract works in the form of visual or spatial poetry that represent mental landscapes.