Hot Tin Roof: grows in the garden

Hot Tin Roof Reading

The Mill — Sunday, Oct. 15 at 3:30 p.m.

Hot Tin Roof

By Lex Gómez

Sometimes, when she’s bored,
she goes into the garden, covers herself
with earth and pretends that she is a carrot.

She crowds in among the fairer fruits
and vegetables, laying her legs in trenches of dirt
between noble winter squash, their cool, waxy hides
brushing against her prickling skin.
With cupped palms she takes the dirt
and rubs at her skin with its damp secrets.

She stills the wriggling of her curious toes,
lays down in the din of life-moving, sugar-making,
skin-stretching, worms-digging, pain-easing,
and gives herself over to the most somatic of pleasures.

Over time, she grows roots. She plumps,
and her skin flushes scarlet in the cold; winter comes,
and she is one for the harvest.

This is what it is to nourish, she thinks, enjoying
the soft tease of each warm, cinnamoned bite.
She lays her soft body down in your belly,
tickles your insides with a gentle caress,
gives you laughter, makes you smile.

Lex Gómez is a graduate student in neuroscience at the University of Iowa, where she studies sensorimotor development. She is passably good at a smattering of things and enjoys devoting time to learn new tricks. This article was originally published in Little Village issue 228.