In The Beginning There Were Fires

When I was a child, I touched a red-hot stove. My mother washed my hand under cool water, kissed my burnt flesh. The skin grew back without a scar. 

The pain: a memory. 

Every year, more of California burns. I hear my mother’s voice in the fresh earth, asking me to come back home. I flinch from the question. It has burned a blackened heart. If I could reach back under my skin, I know I could touch it, and with my fingertip

              make it crumble.

Saba Keramati, a brown woman with black hair tied into a low ponytail. She stands at a three-quarter view, from the shoulders up, in front of trees with autumn leaves and a leaf-covered path. She's wearing a beige sweater and smiling at the camera.

Saba Keramati is a Chinese-Iranian writer from California. She holds degrees in English Literature and Creative Writing from University of Michigan and UC Davis, where she was a Dean’s Graduate Fellow for Creative Arts. Her work appears or is forthcoming in AGNI, Adroit Journal, The Margins, and other publications. For more, please visit or follow her on Twitter @sabzi_k.