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by Lyat Melese (US)

August 2022

Write the World Review

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
choked apart

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
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,
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.

#Family          #Social Justice

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3/9/24, 12:43 AM

This was absolutely a good read! 😃

Ushing Mya

11/24/23, 4:42 PM

I'm amazed by your deep perception towards little things of life! Keep glowing dear Taieba.

Fatima Ismail

10/4/23, 10:28 AM

I'll like to see more of your writing

Fatima Ismail

10/4/23, 10:26 AM

Gsk I love it!

dont care

10/3/23, 7:58 PM

womp womp


9/29/23, 2:03 AM


9/29/23, 2:03 AM

Wow..just wow. Ridiculous words I know. I just stumbled across your poem as this is my first time on the website and I landed this masterpiece. As an immigrant myself, I could relate to several aspects of this. Your use of imagery, symbolism, and allusion is outstanding


9/17/23, 8:43 AM

Powerful. Spreading the truth some don't think about, some don't have to worry about. A great and strong piece.

9/16/23, 2:41 AM

9/16/23, 2:41 AM

9/16/23, 2:41 AM

Aisha Yaakub

8/25/23, 10:35 PM

Excellent and amazing

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