Nisha Atalie

Sugar-coated cannabis
            in carceral city.

Watch the way the light flickers
            and the water collects.

With our cold hands and grocery bags
            let’s be neighbors,

sort endangered birds and cherry blossoms
            from missile tests and bitterness.

What it could be to beget a garden
            without googling what will kill it,

to share a slice of blackberry pie
            and leave the rats everything else.

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).

©2023 Volume Poetry
Join our mailing list:

Follow us on instagram.
Submit your work to Volume:

Site design by Nick Fogarty