karina jha

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.