Jordan Nishkian

    Jordan Nishkian is an Armenian-Portuguese writer based in California. Her work has been published in Overachiever Magazine, The Kelp Journal, the New Plains Review, The Yellow Arrow Journal, The Plentitudes, and more. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Mythos literary magazine and has recently published her first novella.

Salt Flats

 

I have a memory of you— 

sitting in sand on a gray 

morning, overcast, chills

rouse your skin and lift

flats left by briny water 

 

—you pass through  

ruined walls when

you leave, and it 

crumbles, 

collapses 

like your arm in my hand.

 

Salt falls past my fingers

when you turn back to look at me.

I’ve read that blue eyes don’t have color

 

Instead, it’s a lack of melanin,

translucent atmosphere revealing 

layered topographies: lapis and cerulean.

 

You used to have pigment like mine—

gifts from lands of overbearing sun— 

now you are the tones of sunshine and water.

 

Perhaps, swimming in your ocean,

waves seeped into the pools of your irises.

Without burning, stinging crimson, they filled, 

drank; only dripping when you miss home,

 

the place I could remind you of

with my body—the shape and shade of shoreline,

with my eyes—basins of basalt and clay.

Untethered, Often

 

Adrift—waves lapping 

salt enters my ears, rushing

canals with washed, blue hums.

 

Eyes fixed to sky,

combing through cumulus and strata; 

captive to petrichor and patterns.

I become untethered, often

 

plotting points covered 

by clouds, obscured by daylight.

 

Ancient lore assigns narrative to starlight 

and gives context to their constellations—

 

I wonder

(wishing on celestial corpses)

if stars recall their stories 

when they become untethered, also.