by Yashar Seyedbagheri
crushed lemonI try to hug the world. Proclaim love from cathedral steps, on buses, at movies.
No one accepts.
They call me a pervert. Asshole. Shove me.
I’m thirty-two. I’ve only been known by nicknames, guttural and precise. Dumbass, motherfucker, piece of shit.
I strive for one full hug. The police don’t understand the need either. They think I’m nuts.
They can’t take it all. With each attempted hug, I inhale fleeting perfume, sweat, pot. I feel rough arms, slender ones. They transmit stories I can only imagine, of communion and spouses and children.
I carry these images.
They won’t take those.
About the author
Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University's MFA program in fiction. His story, "Soon," was nominated for a Pushcart. Yash’s stories are forthcoming or have been published in Café Lit, Mad Swirl, 50 Word Stories, and Ariel Chart, among others.