Maya Cheav :: “lorelai in silks,” “the masochist and her lamprey,” and “lily”

lorelai in silks

dalliance (noun): a brief or casual involvement with something, often romantic: frivolous action: trifling

give her a seed, and with it, she shall give way to blossom, water your roots and fold you into full bloom. give her a lump of clay, and with it, she shall mold the figure of your body, flesh and bone. she knows every dip and divot, every brazed knuckle. every softened scar. every mosquito bite. give her one night as the moon watches over you, bleeding twilight, and she’ll teach you what it means to be clean. speak to her of all the things that morph you into a small giant, of all the things you are ashamed of, and she will kiss your hips, suck the venom from your wounds.


the masochist and her lamprey

the air is ripe with mildew, 
its potent flavor percolates my lungs. 
you overturn your leftover pizza
to discover black mold. 
empty amazon packaging sits in the corner of your room
filled with soy sauce and ketchup packets
from a week’s worth of door dash orders. 
full bottles of medication
that your therapist insists you take
crowd your desk,
along with empty THC cartridges
and a pile of grubby styrofoam plates. 
every other thursday
you come back from your film class, 
storming in with a passion, saying,
“we should move to seattle!”
but it takes you one afternoon to remember that
you’re failing school and 
you got fired last week and 
your car registration is expired and 
we’re two months late on rent.
I go to sleep to the sound of your voice
shouting while you play video games
with your friends until four in the morning. 
I live on your mattress, caked with dirt and dog hair, 
confronted by the stain on your pillowcase saying,
“this is your mess too.”
your misery mixes with mine,
like a blood transfusion gone wrong,
and for a period of time 
I forget that I am not your mother,
that love and torture don’t have to exist within the same breath.

I dream of a house I can call my own. 
there’s a pot of plant cuttings by the windowsill, 
the propagations brimming in sunlight. 
the greenery stands tall
against the warm birchwood bookcases. 
beside the salt lamp and the log stool,
a set of braided chairs sit perched beneath 
the giant monstera in the center of the living room.
I walk my dog in the neighborhood 
and learn the wheel in weekly pottery classes.
I make my pasta al dente with dried tomatoes.
I wear the color yellow. 
but when dawn turns to dusk,
I turn out the big light,
and when I pry my eyes open,
I only wake to you. 



pour her a glass of strawberry moonshine and 
she will stand in the middle of a lavender field 
and orchestrate the plants to sing a little symphony. 
she sings karaoke in the back of the bar
and when she dances, 
everyone clinks their pints and joins in. 
she kisses her lover on the cheek, 
and flowers bloom where her lips had pressed. 
she is femininity in the divine form, 
like marble and whipping cream, 
like lemonade and major 7 melodies.


Maya Cheav is an environmental justice organizer and writer. Her writing has been featured or forthcoming in Bizarrchitecture Magazine, Scapegoat Review, and Stone of Madness Press. Cheav’s debut poetry chapbook, Lykaia, was published with Bottlecap Press in February 2023. She is a Tin House 2024 Winter Online Workshop member and Best Small Fictions nominee. She can often be found talking to sidhe fae at the Lake of Avalon. Read more at or @mayacheavwrites on Instagram.