When my mother left, I sat down in the dirt,
Pried kopeikas from the sun-hot cobblestones,
Put them in an egg peeling with paintflowers.
After two weeks I broke the shell with my teeth,
Stuffed my pockets with grubby hands and walked
To the slanted market under a winter sun.
The coins slid easily, slick with sweat
Into the palm of a yellow-toothed woman
I told her, Mama’s eyes are green like candy
I told her, Mama is frying blini at home.
She let me touch every heart on her table and
I picked a pretty one for my mother, brought it
Back to heat on the stove while I sucked on my lie;
Mama’s eyes are green like mold.
Karina Jha is a 19-year-old literary enthusiast from Northampton, Massachusetts. She is currently working towards a BA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing at Emerson College in Boston. Her work is centered around exploring themes of femininity, multi-cultural identity, and the melding of fantasy and reality. She has won multiple awards for poetry, short story, and flash fiction, and has been published in local literary magazines.