VOL        

        UME




 

Baba in the New Country
Nisha Atalie



Baba was in the new country.
Before signing the lease, he called the landlord.
He had to do his due diligence.
He had to let them know.

Before signing the lease, he called the landlord.
He didn’t want to cause trouble.
He had to let them know.
I wanted to make sure you know that I am brown.

He didn’t want to cause trouble.
He knew they might misread his British accent.
I wanted to make sure you know that I am brown.
The California sun weighed on him heavy.

He knew they might misread his British accent.
How brown? The landlord asked on the other line.
The California sun weighed on him heavy.
Baba held up his arm and inspected it.

How brown? The landlord asked on the other line.
Pretty brown, he said, honestly.
Baba held up his arm and inspected it.
This color, his, was shimmering. It couldn’t sit still.

Pretty brown, he said, honestly.
He had to do his due diligence.
This color, his, was shimmering. It couldn’t sit still.
Baba was in the new country.

Nisha Atalie is a poet of South Asian and European descent from the Pacific Northwest. She is a poetry editor at MASKS and her poems have been published or are forthcoming in CALYX, Blood Orange Review, Tinderbox Poetry, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of the 2021 Eileen Lannan Poetry Prize and received third place for the 2022 Treehouse Climate Action Poem Prize. She lives on the occupied lands of the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi (Chicago).
Mark



©2022 Volume Poetry
Join our mailing list:


Follow us on instagram.
Submit your work to Volume:
submissions@volumepoetry.com

Site design by Nick Fogarty