Myfanwy Collins

Here is what I will say:

Turn your cheek to me and I will paint the walls navy blue, representing the sky or the cold fires of that place.

Turn it and I will make the windows a kaleidoscope with my paintbrush, the room becoming your own glass cage. It will mimic the movement of light on color and present you with a ceiling of gems so precious.

Turn it and I will climb into your ear and tell you what the angel told me: that the lady ate a poisoned apple and that you, yourself, are an angel sent to help me speak.

Don’t turn it and I will know that it is time to rid myself of ownership. I will sit on the floor in the middle of the empty room and draw a circle in which all points radiate from my one true center.

Keep that cheek still, impassive, unmoved and I will know that while my apotheosis is inevitable, it is unknown to you. I will know that your thoughts are not mine.

If the cheek does not turn, it is time to leave all those who would offer the apple. Time to take to the streets with a child in bunting and spread the word of the poisoned few who did not rise. (I will be deaf to the child’s cries for he is soon to be exalted at my right hand.)

With no cheek turned, my ascension is imminent.

Do not expect that I will rise gently as a saint floats to the firmament. My leap will be swift and brutal, a birth reversal, leaving behind a smudge that might have been me but is really my last breath.

And that is my word.


“The phrase ‘turn your cheek to me’ came to me when I was feeling wild and misunderstood and I saw the side of this woman’s white, white face and there it all was. The phrase repeated for days and I couldn’t get the voice out of my head until I wrote it out.”


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