Homebound / Ashley Hajimirsadeghi

Field of blooming poppies.
 

She was thirteen when she saw her first color movie 
She remembers how the lights dimmed and then 
twisting, turning, straining to see the hues of blues and greens 
and how Dorothy’s shoes were shamelessly red 
when the sun struck them perfectly 
Leaving the theater, she stared up at the night sky 
framed by tendrils of smoke wrapped around clouds
that looked like smudged charcoal
It was there she imagined lighting 
the stars up like a rainbow, and she dreamed 
of being Dorothy as she wandered down 
the yellow brick road, wide-eyed and filled 
with creamy adventures 

She was nineteen when she had her first kiss 
It was with little Haruka Mayamoto from next door 
except by then she’d grown and was two heads 
taller than her even with chunky Mary Janes 
The great war had just ended, and she’d been standing 
in the patchy, dying grass and Haruka came riding up 
in a rusted Ford—their yard was filled with overgrown 
weeds Mother had complained about 
The younger brothers ran outside and she stood silently 
in the prickly grass, wishing to be inside 
She didn’t see Haruka approaching, or both of her parents 
gawking like freshly caught bass on the Mississippi 
She didn’t expect her lips to taste like fried Spam
but they did 

She was twenty-three when she chose to move 
out west to bittersweet California, 
where the stars were brighter than a supernova 
and where life went from black and white to technicolor 
Her heart soared and leaped for the big screen, 
to be sashaying down a vibrant field of sunflowers 
She remembers her parents frowning 
disapprovingly over the dying weeds 
and Haruka peering down curiously out her bedroom window 
where dandelions peeked out of the crevices 
No regrets, she told herself, as she rode away 
into the ashy dust and the stars shyly shone through the clouds 
No more regrets—
I’m coming home 

***

Ashley Hajimirsadeghi currently is an undergraduate student at the Fashion Institute of Technology; she is originally from Baltimore, Maryland. Her work has appeared/is forthcoming from Sugared Water, Apeiron Review, Eastern Iowa Review, among others. She has been nominated for Best of the Net and recognized by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers.