Ashley Hajimirsadeghi

Be Sweet 

Be Sweet 

after Japanese Breakfast

Turn around and look 

into the camera, then 

look at me. I want to

believe in you. In cinema 

we can preserve our promises

until the end of electricity. 

Be sweet to me. The world 

is watching. I hide the scratches 

on the dining room table so

the fisheye lens doesn’t catch 

how our fingernails embed themselves

deeper into the grains of wood. 

My father taught me Iranian 

hospitality, to feed the guests until

we have nothing left to give. 

I give you everything, bake as many 

sweets as possible until your teeth rot 

with my kindness. Tell the camera 

you love me in between bites 

of Funfetti cupcakes. You love 

me so sweetly you want to vomit 

up the sprinkles, make art out 

of stomach acid. It’s not like 

I’ll believe you anyways. Actors 

are not meant to share secrets, 

unless in a blackout. Then we 

scramble to find faces in the dark.

"IN AN ALTERNATE UNIVERSE..." by Ashley Hajimirsadeghi

Ashley Hajimirsadeghi is a multimedia artist and writer. She has had work appear in Barren Magazine, DIALOGIST, Rust + Moth, and The Shore, among others. She is the Co-Editor in Chief at both Mud Season Review and Juven Press, and reads for EX/POST Magazine. More of her work can be found at ashleyhajimirsadeghi.com.