For Golden Girls When The Going Gets Golden

TW:mentions of death, light body horror

If you grew a garden of roses on the moon, I think you would dig up
golden ore soil. That's a stunner. Bone white giving way to gold, gold, gold.
Would you like that? I'll build a greenhouse on the moon for you, full of orange roses
growing out of soil of gold. When they tell our story, I wonder what they'll call us. I like
companion, because I'm terrible and old-fashioned like that-- radical in everything
except dreams. Under the new moon, I dream of the only truth I know: that I love you.

I come from a long line of sun-worshippers. Did you know that? Every year, I feel itchy when
Chhath comes around because there is no river near us to bathe in. It’s supposed to be one
of the oldest festivals in the world. We’re grateful to the sun for giving us life. I think
they should have specified which deity they wanted me to worship. I’m not sure I can tell
the difference between the two suns anymore.

If you cut us, we'll bleed golden, ancestors upon ancestors of ichor. We'll melt
so brightly that they’ll need sunglasses to mourn us. Do they make white sunglasses?
Probably not. That's okay. We've always been a little radical. The way your laugh
sounds in the sunlight is my own revolution. Maybe it’s supposed to feel like this. Maybe
we’re inventing something new. Maybe I don’t care & I’m happy beside
you, watching you shine & change the entire goddamn world. Maybe that’s most likely.

You gave me golden infinitude when I turned fourteen. Sometimes, I wake up screaming
& put on that necklace, letting it touch skin. It's calming. The necklace turned out to be silver
wrapped in gold. Fitting that you gave it to me. We're the real golden infinitude, I think.
We'll either change the world or end it. My bet's on metamorphosis.

I heard a story once about how each avatar had the face of their last
great love. I’m well versed in avatars. I am the last in a long line of
people who have loved the sun so ardently that they became sunbeams
in perpetuity, reaching up towards the sun, eternal heliotropes. We
are generation after generation of golden girls, painted shimmering
silver like the moon. Imagine that. Imagine being part of something
so grand that you turn to solid gold underneath all that skin.

I don't know if they'll have the words for us in the future, but they might.
When they cut me open in the biopsy, they'll find two roses sprouting out of my blood,
yellow and deep red. Where do you think I found the originals to hybridize out in space?
They're yours anyways. You watched me plant them between my lungs and watched
as I let them twine around my ribs. Making you a legend of the least I can do.

I've turned the moon golden so the entire world
has to remember who we were.

About The Author

Salonee Verma is a Bihari-American writer and the co-founder of antinarrative, a collaborative zine (@antinarrativeZ on Twitter). Her work is published or is forthcoming in Backslash Lit, Pollux Journal, zindabad zine, Dishsoap Quarterly and more. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Find her online at