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September 9, 2021


Yanita Georgieva

On Sundays, grandma waits for me to call.

Sometimes I am on the bus, or buying bread,

or lugging parcels home. You’re always going places,

she laughs from her soft leather armchair.

Some weeks, I make her proud by saying things

like I made bean stew, or remind me,

do we add chubritsa to this? Other weeks

the time escapes me. I’m on a train and see

the burnt red skies, which means

the late-night Turkish shows are starting

and she is clutched onto the railings

dragging leg after weak leg up

along the stairs. I message her,

I’m sorry grandma, call tomorrow?

and she responds at midnight with a poop emoji.

This morning, she is talking and my mind

drifts to the lemons rotting in the fridge,

a lightbulb flashing. Then

a distant dog bark fills the air.

Do you hear it there?

she asks me. And I do.