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On Deprivation

by Sarah Sophia Yanni

so many of my experiences
were about waiting

patience learned through
routine fasting, a child’s
rumbling stomach no match
for the joy of victory, the
joy of making my parents
proud. one day a
week, the first thing that
enters my body
must be holy. and then––years
of waiting to turn
into something
golden. in the dream my head
would leave the pillow
and my hair would have
no static. I’d awaken from
a restful, pleasant sleep a
beautiful girl, my teeth
lined up all perfectly straight.
in the dream you
sent me letters and time
passed slowly but in a good
way, like honey dripping
sweet, fat drops.

the flight is delayed, the suitcase
overweight. I push the red
button and it flags me
for a search. I wait
to be called and once they
zip me open
it’s rough. I take offense
to the way my shampoo
is jostled, and I feel
embarrassed to be a person
who requires socks
and underwear to live. silent,
I practice fasting from
words. and I can tell that
the bottles have not been
properly re-shut and I
know when I arrive that
everything I own will
bear remnants of a
stranger’s touch, every single
one of my clothes wet,
sticky and ruined.


Sarah Sophia Yanni’s writing has appeared in Feelings, DREGINALD, Maudlin House, Full Stop, and Metatron Press’ #MicroMeta Series, among others. She is the author of the chapbook ternura / tenderness (Bottlecap Press) and serves as Assistant Editor of The Quarterless Review. A gemini and daughter of immigrants, she lives and works in Los Angeles.

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