Ani Bachan

Ash Wednesday Valentine

Against the dry heat of a weekday appears
An American oasis,
Where sticky-fingered kids with sweetened teeth who
—despite the hopes and dreams of their parents—
Forgo the second marshmallow,
Choosing instead to capture beauty the instant they can
So maybe they’ll be photographers instead of CEOs
Or presidents, you see
Hunger is learned before restraint is taught
And within those lessons is a good one on distance
A nurse tells me that the first trauma we know
Is being born, and the second is being separated
          And through my fault,
          Through my fault,
          Through this original fault,
I hurry to be close to you again, to live
The forty lifetimes laid between us
The same way I finish a plate:
Quickly.

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Ani Bachan is a Toronto-based student and occasional writer. She has been previously published in Inlandia’s Online Journal, The Showbear Family Circus, F3LL Magazine, Phantom Kangaroo, and others.