Constant Temperature

I could not stand on my feet for long without vibrating,
I hold onto the wall of my new home and look out the window.

I dreaded growing up, so I wore gowns two times my size
that I may remain invisible until another lunar eclipse.

mama warns that I keep my voice in a box,
she begged that I keep them locked in, until I have a boy to sing to.

my stranger husband smiles too much, and I want to tell him I am no cow.
he dug holes in my body in search for water, & I am dying of thirst.

he brought home fingerlings and begged that I breed them for him.
this was his plan for survival, when the Atlantic becomes too viscous

for the fish to paddle. sweat rolls down beneath my head gear
but it surprises no one. here, a girl’s body is an incubator

he wouldn’t stop bringing his eggs to hide in me,
whether or not I hurt my mouth swallowing them.

Hussain Ahmed is a Nigerian writer and environmentalist. His poems are featured or forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, Cincinnati Review, Magma, The Journal, and elsewhere.

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