In my greenhouse, a nest rests
in a pit so warm, blooded, off-balance,
it is on one side follicular waste, and on
the other, egg shells for twenty-one days.
These same shells make
a turtle. She is soft underbelly. Cold
and blooded above bone. She builds
illusions in lumps and floods the stone.
At midday, she is at her slowest, bobbing
slightly towards the dying wave. She is
a dry cage. Clay against the sun.
This same cage is the skeleton of a fish,
paused, gritty, hollow. It does not swim,
it only floats. It is not warm, not cold,
blooded dry by my own.
My greenhouse lives like dirt,
watered well, then little, then not at all.
The female burial finds red tapestries,
and solitaires, and thin rumors, and hair.
At the same time, man is the square
is the circle is the arch is the ruin
under which she has lain. My anxiety
is cryptic and professionally pickled
underground like cobbled steps
black-holing in the rain.
Jeevika Verma is a poet from India most interested in conversations surrounding development, art, culture, identity, and social justice. She recently graduated from the University of Washington with BA in Creative Writing, and will soon be joining Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism for her Masters. Before college, Jeevika lived in Cameroon, which is where she founded her own creative-literary journal Creative Chaos.