Greenhousing by Sarah Audsley


I’ll push against—
                what did you say—any
                                edge. An orchid cannot
impregnate it-
                self. Stamen & pistil sound
like dirty words, but they’re necessary.
                I know how
                                to push
                against the glass. I was a seed.
I was a sticky mess made from two bodies
                colliding. The way swells rise
& fall, counting beats per second. Did she want
                him? Did he
want her? Where did
           he put
his hands
                when he made me?
(I know I can’t ask such questions). I know
my father tried to keep me
after she died, but then he put
                me somewhere else
                                where he thought
he could remember
where he left me.
                Gloved hands. Dirty mouth.
Greenery, potted
                things, with roots and seeds,
                                all must grow downward
                first before
                                they burst.


Sarah Audsley is a Korean adoptee, living and working in New Hampshire’s White Mountains region. She has received support for her work from the Rona Jaffe Foundation and the Vermont Studio Center. Her nonfiction appears in Appalachia Journal and Alpinist; poems can be found in Four Way Review, Potluck Magazine, and The Massachusetts Review. She holds a degree in Creative Writing from the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.