Green Thumb Baby

Poetry by Mallika Singh: Mallika Singh is a fourth year English Major who loves food as much as she loves books. When it comes to her own writing, she likes to draw inspiration from pop culture, current affairs and internet rants. When she’s not writing poetry, you can find her at the local Michael’s looking for craft supplies or at concerts singing loudly and out of tune. 

Warm water permeates
Through dead epidermis
And razor mows stubble
From overgrown lawn legs.
Cut too deep, magma erupts
From once-dormant volcanoes.
Dilutes to pink whirlpool,
A minute disaster upon
Bathtub bottom bed.

The body is a national park
Be your own ranger;
Take care, do your hair,
No stubble anywhere –

Point of origin,
Maps the day you were born
Foot first and bleeding
Like a scar, like a blemish,
Like something to take care of.
Costumed in pink polka-dot dresses
And butterfly-clip ponytails.
Little life-sized Barbies
Growing like trees:
Seed, sapling, shade
On an unusually warm
November afternoon.

Mother always said
“You need to look well groomed”
So she tended to my garden
Until I learned
To water my own roses.

I never liked roses much,
Their faces were obnoxious
Their smiles condescending.
I couldn’t keep roses alive,
So Mother suggested tulips.
Bright, vibrant and happy –
I liked that. I filled my garden
With tulips and hoped people
Would admire the smell, the sight,
The flowers I’d grown for them.
But after one too many plucked buds
I step away from this metaphor.

My curves are not landscape,
My skin does not grow garden
To be visited, violated, polluted.
My body is not a simile
And I am not scenery.
Mother always told me,
“You are beautiful, take pride
In your appearance.” And I do.

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