My Friend Wears Ohio on a Chain

For Willa Frierson, the whole family,
the Kenyon Review’s Young Writers
Workshop, and for Gambier, Ohio:
the most magical town in the world.



Because I came home I became
estranged / but in a soft
way, like how tune
simmers without light
in rooms / how neck
moves without wound. & I can’t make
art like I used to. I’m in love with a
place I won’t name. It isn’t made
of paint. Either way, I’ve been pitted of desire
to say. Hollow olives give shape
to space. Like rain becoming general
when it hits / how mouth touching
mouth erodes mouth & this is called kiss.
Home is me without me
in it. This is to say / I am not dead I am
dying the difference being in the waiting for the day.





author Chiara Naomi stands next to a tree in a blue and white stripped shirt
Chiara Naomi. Photo by Kimberly Allis.


Chiara Naomi is a first-year at Wesleyan University majoring in English and French. Infamous for exceeding word-counts, it is ironic that she is a 2020 honorable mention recipient of Wesleyan’s Hamilton Prize for her flash fiction. She is a 2019/2020 honorable mention recipient of The London Magazine’s Short Story Prize, and her poetry has been long-listed for and published in the anthology of Live Canon’s 2019 Poetry Prize. She aspires to teach high school English, but currently listens to girl in red while reading dense books about language. This is her first publication in a literary journal.