by Lyat Melese (US)
Audio: "Flavorless," read by Lyat Melese
Aunty’s green card was approved
lucky she says
right before they tightened
and the world became a paper map
with a hand clamping the oceans
paper crumpling and
colorful blobs of land
Aunty works at a chicken processing plant
no english, they say, plus free transportation
two hour rides
with other elderly ladies
who fill time with murmurs
of broken english and native tongue
they will enter the place
machine loud yet silent
to skin chicken and pull innards
with swollen feet
Is anything free?
My mother fries chicken for dinner
says she hasn’t seen real chicken in America
real chicken needs
just salt to dance on tongues
This chicken, here,
she dumps soy sauce in the pan
Lyat Melese, 17, is a high school student currently residing in Virginia. If she’s not writing, she can be found working on her neurobiology project, reading African literature, or having fun with her friends. Her pieces have appeared or are forthcoming in "The New York Times," "Scholastic Art and Writing," "Elementia," and elsewhere.
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3/15/23, 5:10 PM
I am seeing all of your comments, and BLESS YOU ALL, thank you so much for wishing me well on this journey, your kind words will certainly help me get there! ❤️❤️
Here's my linkedin, just in case:
I hope I can do that lol
3/13/23, 3:01 AM
3/10/23, 6:30 PM
You write beautifully and with so much passion. Wonderful writing Taieba,
2/28/23, 3:57 PM
"I am trying to tell you wish I were a boy
but you mis-trans-late the words and hear
wish I were less of a girl." This is my favourite statement from here! A trans-formative piece :)
2/28/23, 5:26 AM
What a wonderful piece of writing! I cannot wait to see how you will change the world for the better with your words! I am proud of you and am even prouder to call you my friend!
2/27/23, 11:43 PM
Fun to read, causing me to want to make one of these creations and the devour the result. Sophia, thanks for sharing your creativity with us
Lilies and Peonies
2/27/23, 7:00 PM
Wow, you have been through so much. What a terrible time to be living through, so many lives broken, lost, or insecure because of the war. I'm praying for you that God would protect you and your family, and that he would keep you until the war ends.
2/27/23, 4:58 PM
Sophia is my granddaughter and I am very, very proud of her and her writings. I am sure we will be seeing a lot more of her written words in the future!
2/24/23, 7:41 PM
How do I add a poem? <3
2/21/23, 6:39 AM
Amazing writing here. I love the force this piece gives. You write so creatively.
2/21/23, 6:37 AM
Congratulations on getting published!
2/20/23, 10:55 PM
This is IT!