Ashley Hajimirsadeghi


Somewhere between here & there,                         

a face peers at you between screeching

subway cars. On the advertisement screen

        above, sin city glows green & yellow.

In an alternate universe, the focal point

        is negative, the image actually farther

than it seems. Sometimes it feels like you’re

        underwater—light bending towards itself,

an inverted world looking back. For all that

        it’s worth, these are hard times. We stuff

our pockets with smudged, faded receipts

        & objects from a distant past: an old cracked

iPod, instruction manuals for furniture,

        spare buttons for a donated blouse. & maybe

these are all wishes in disguise, something

        you dug up from suburbia & brought back

to share. Your mother used to tell you the

        world was rotting, so maybe these were relics

instead, though they didn’t mean anything

        to anyone but you. You wish you could forget,

flush everything—the jewelry, poems, dried  

        hibiscus petals—down the toilet. No one

would stop you. It could be as easy as brushing

        your teeth each morning, or putting a hand

over your eyes & squeezing the last bent rays

        of light that poked through. You must

learn to move on, despite missing your stop.

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 Shore, 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. Her work can be found at