nat raum :: “haworthia fasciata”

my stardew valley house is full of plants
i am incapable of killing, pixelgreen luscious
leaves scattering up wooden walls
to the place where i’d put a skylight if i could
actually see the ceiling. i couldn’t hope

to keep a plant alive outside pelican town—
my brain is a lemon, barely remembering to feed
itself, let alone the fifteen bundles of tangled
leaf and succulent limbs that used to live
on my windowsill in college. it’s a wonder

my first zebra plant didn’t shrivel sooner,
its spinywhite leaves staying plump with water
even after she once tumbled from a ceramic pot
onto the gravelgrey surface of my dormitory’s
nearest parking lot. i’d named her sylvia

for no reason, and brought her along when i built
my first makeshift home in a cinderblock cube—
not long before a darkness glitched my skull
and i spent the next five years forgetting
to water the plants.


nat raum (b. 1996) is a disabled artist, writer, and genderless disaster from Baltimore, MD. They’re the editor-in-chief of fifth wheel press, as well as the author of you stupid slut, the abyss is staring back, random access memory, and several chapbooks. Find them online: