Ashley Hajimirsadeghi

Everything is burning–the eggs on our frying pan, trees & bushes
across the mountain, our neighbor’s recycling in their fire pit–
& all you talk about is your five-year plan. I stopped listening
awhile ago, but whenever I sit down to write in the dark, glancing
at your still body to make sure I’m not too loud, I want to hide
our matches & kerosene. The other day, between the two major rivers,
all the fish rose to the surface. They were dead; they were salmon
on migration. When I ask you about it, you say you can’t remember
how to measure the days anymore, they blur together too much.
Maybe you heard it on the news, but you don’t know when.
We won’t speak of it again, I’m sure of it. In August, I learned
how to approximate the distance an ember, or flame, could travel
with the smallest breeze–all the things you thought you’d never
understand before. You tell me that night you had a dream:
in it, you were underwater in your childhood home’s swimming
pool & had forgotten how to breathe. We didn’t know what
happened next–you woke up before finding out. These days,
we turn the television off before it gets to sad things–I’m tired
of hearing about suffering. I dust off the black powder that’s been
gathering on the walls each night before bed, sit down to write
when I can hear you snoring. God forbid if anything were to happen
if I wasn’t keeping watch. You tell me you don’t understand this over
your overcooked eggs each morning. Hell, I don’t even think I do.

Ashley Hajimirsadeghi is an Iranian-American multimedia artist, writer, and journalist. Her writing has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Passages North, The Cortland Review, Salamander, RHINO, Salt Hill, and The Journal, among others. She is the Co-Editor-in-Chief at Mud Season Review and a contributing writer and critic at MovieWeb. She is a six-time Best of the Net nominee, two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, and runner-up for the Arthur Flowers Flash Fiction Prize. She can be found at

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