Nain Christopherson

Nain Christopherson (she/her) lives, writes, and teaches high school language arts and creative writing in Salt Lake City. Her poems have been featured or are forthcoming in The Shore, Scribendi, and The Exponent II.


Twitter: @nainchris

Instagram: @nainchris


Tip the author through Venmo @Nain-Christopherson


Irises


I already said I love

my job—but ninth graders

will really look at you, just plain

leaving the building, like you should’ve vaporized

passing through the weapons detector, and again

crossing the threshold of those double doors. They’ll look

at you shopping for groceries with your headphones in

like you’re a subspecies they’ve never seen before—

and you looked them in both eyes

this morning; said their name, and asked them

how they were. Look at you

weaving through crowds or heating your leftovers

for lunch in the classroom microwave like you’ve sprung

into 3D for the first time. Imagine



if they knew I have always existed.

Some days I want to make them

look: how eternity roils

under the horizons of skin grown up against

my fingernails—along the seams

in my eyelids, behind my ears.

Some days I could scream: I am

abundant! I’ve spilled

emerald and indigo out

of the deepest vases! I’ve been an armful

of the longest leaves! Sometimes



I whisper hit me just before I break 

into sunlight from beneath

the undersides of trees, which drip,

I think, like great green chandeliers. 

Now and then I close the door

to room 307 and, for a minute,

shed onion-fat tears. Or else I manage

not to cry upon discovering the eggs laid deep 

in my abdomen belong

to grief. Sometimes, I’m glued



in place by the shimmer of a dragonfly flattened

to a driveway on my route to work. I walk,

sometimes. Or take the bus, where my students

are sometimes the other passengers. Sometimes ninth graders

will really look at you, look at your legs

crossed, your inked left ankle

suspended in plain view, and say Ms. Chris,

what do pears mean to you?

I used to hate them. Then I tried

a yellow Bartlett on a rotten day, and found it delicious.

Nain Christopherson

Irises


I already said I love

my job—but ninth graders

will really look at you, just plain

leaving the building, like you should’ve vaporized

passing through the weapons detector, and again

crossing the threshold of those double doors. They’ll look

at you shopping for groceries with your headphones in

like you’re a subspecies they’ve never seen before—

and you looked them in both eyes

this morning; said their name, and asked them

how they were. Look at you

weaving through crowds or heating your leftovers

for lunch in the classroom microwave like you’ve sprung

into 3D for the first time. Imagine


if they knew I have always existed.

Some days I want to make them

look: how eternity roils

under the horizons of skin grown up against

my fingernails—along the seams

in my eyelids, behind my ears.

Some days I could scream: I am

abundant! I’ve spilled

emerald and indigo out

of the deepest vases! I’ve been an armful

of the longest leaves! Sometimes


I whisper hit me just before I break 

into sunlight from beneath

the undersides of trees, which drip,

I think, like great green chandeliers. 

Now and then I close the door

to room 307 and, for a minute,

shed onion-fat tears. Or else I manage

not to cry upon discovering the eggs laid deep 

in my abdomen belong

to grief. Sometimes, I’m glued


in place by the shimmer of a dragonfly flattened

to a driveway on my route to work. I walk,

sometimes. Or take the bus, where my students

are sometimes the other passengers. Sometimes ninth graders

will really look at you, look at your legs

crossed, your inked left ankle

suspended in plain view, and say Ms. Chris,

what do pears mean to you?

I used to hate them. Then I tried

a yellow Bartlett on a rotten day, and found it delicious.

Twitter: @nainchris

Instagram: @nainchris


Tip the author through Venmo @Nain-Christopherson

Nain Christopherson

Nain Christopherson (she/her) lives, writes, and teaches high school language arts and creative writing in Salt Lake City. Her poems have been featured or are forthcoming in The Shore, Scribendi, and The Exponent II.

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