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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12/3/22, 12:37 AM
11/19/22, 9:15 AM
This is a masterpiece.... Well done
10/12/22, 2:00 AM
An amazing piece on climate change. Congratulations!
10/12/22, 1:58 AM
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. I love this! Could read this over and over again.
10/12/22, 1:56 AM
Such a beautiful piece Lyat. Congratulations!
10/12/22, 1:54 AM
From your piece, you're an inspiration and a driven person who wants to make the world better. I hope you get to achieve all these and I hope you receive all the support.
10/12/22, 1:48 AM
Brilliant and educative in all aspects!
10/12/22, 1:43 AM
Everything about this piece has perfectly collided with the perfect words. Teen years are special and form a concrete part of a person's life. Glad I read this now. It's a beautiful piece.
9/29/22, 4:40 PM
9/24/22, 2:13 PM
Was this inspired by flights over Iceland?
9/24/22, 10:04 AM
Amazing. I love it.
9/23/22, 7:34 AM
This is just so good!!!! "The air has been poisoned' I love how you describe things! Congrats :))