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Flavorless

by Lyat Melese (US)

July 2022

Write the World Review

Audio: "Flavorless," read by Lyat Melese

Aunty’s green card was approved
lucky she says
right before they tightened
immigration
and the world became a paper map
with a hand clamping the oceans
paper crumpling and
colorful blobs of land
choked apart

Aunty works at a chicken processing plant
now
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
returning to
free transportation
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,
flavorless
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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Syeda

8/9/22, 5:01 PM

It was very wholesome🥰🥰

Zainab Aliahmed

8/8/22, 5:11 PM

Amazing 😀

Keren

7/28/22, 4:37 PM

Really wonderful piece here.

7/11/22, 1:28 PM

Emma

7/8/22, 8:00 AM

Wow. These words hit hard for me, as I has the same experience recently. I really love how you described the feelings and the ending was really amazing. This helped me a lot. Just wow.
I hope you keep on writing.

Vivian

6/26/22, 1:46 PM

Wow you are so talented! I relate this a lot to my paternal grandfather who passed away two years ago and is very similar to yours. Sometimes family can judge you but I agree you should learn to live in the present and be happy with out having a fancy job/being married. Keep up the great work!

Ediomo Bright

6/22/22, 8:15 PM

You've done a wonderful job here.
Your intricate descriptions of the race and the emotions conferred by it is excellent.
Thank you!

6/22/22, 8:13 PM

Ediomo Bright

6/22/22, 8:09 PM

You've done a beautiful work here.
The flow of the story, the gripping emotions it enthralls the reader with, it's very wonderful.
Thank you for this.

Anonymous

6/18/22, 6:08 AM

This write-up is absolutely amazing. It made me realize why I am who I am, and I could also relate a lot. Hope you never stop writing, and I hope to read a full-length book from you soon!<3

ANSHIKA

6/17/22, 2:50 AM

It was so good to read..i really liked the description the storyline ,the plot ,everything 👍

Sanvi

6/7/22, 3:25 PM

This piece is a beautiful reminder of how ugly teenage years can be. It's real and it hurts but it's so good. Please never stop writing!