Murder One, Fall 2015

About the poems: This cork board best represents my process, which is, of course, me. Here you will find pictures of my children, my teachers, even myself. The semesters of my MFA laid out one after the other.  Life-quotes from Muriel Rukeyser and Walt Whitman. Larry Levis in blue. Larry Levis. Larry Levis. Lucky coins and keepsakes. The entirety of "Rituals Before the Poem" by Kwame Dawes, "Before the poem comes like a word from a brazen sky/ the poet must lie on his side for a year/ eating only dry bread and measured bowls of water."  And mostly this quote from poet, Tarfia Faizullah, "I feel God walk through the room when I write a poem."

Crow Hollow 19

The artist's space.

Rachel Heimowitz

Crow Hollow Books

And Maybe This Will Make Him Happy

He closes the toilet, 
unbuckles,       unzips,        pushes 
his pants to his ankles, 
settles on the cover—

only (then) looks 
at me in my hospital gown, 
twenty weeks pregnant,

his eyes  (finally)  inviting
after these long weeks—
me with early contractions,
my cervix stretched 

wide, my body
this embryo out.

Bedrest. Rising 
to the bathroom 
and once a week 

the end of the hall, 
a pay-phone to call 
the two babies I left at home.

Watching him— 
his prick pointing.  
Let’s play spider,  
like swings in grade school

lower yourself on my lap
four legs dangling, 
let’s play, his eyes say
and now this erection,

this lovely penis, 
sunset colored 
and twisted slightly left

calling me—a siren 
ready to wreak havoc 
in the delicate chemical balance 
of my body, 

secrete those swimmers, 
let them leach into my ground water, 

to a uterus ready 
to contract.
And all these weeks 
of infusions, acrid pills, 

suppositories that leave me 
buoyant as lead, /lying 
so still, this could push 

my uterus beyond what
any doctor could save.
But I lower myself on him
gentle-don’t       go deep

because he is my husband,
                                                                  (feet on my bed
                                                                  reading magazines,)
because I have no family,
                                                                  (my face in his hair, full 
                                                                  of him, vanilla and limes.)

Let him grab my nipple                     between his teeth

maybe now he’ll kiss me when he visits
maybe he’ll bring the girls
because these are arms around me,
because there is no money,
because even as he fills

me,              I am alone.

Water Woman


I married 
under the strict confines 
of the canopy,

weak eyed, 
index finger extended,
cloth covering 

my face, and my tears,
the tears of the tender eyed,
tears to blur

those who would bind
my water: a pot of water, 
an ocean of water, 

water that flows deep
purple in my veins, 
bright red between my legs,
nights clotted 
as dark pieces of me 
break off, drift away.

Now my neck 
stretches, unashamed in this empty 
space, my lips move 

stealthily from room 
to room, seeking someone 
to rub against, the emptiness

assembles on my chest,
air broken, too heavy 
to breathe, a future impacted 

in a cold coil of clouds, 
the snap and sizzle of wet fire, 
and this dammed river inside 

me born in its intricate web
of glands and vessels,
rising, pulling, a rip tide, 

an open mouth, my mouth,   
hungry, stretched—

A Woman’s Life

1. Sand

Stretched on the sand—
the soft gloss of my new
pubic hair reflects
the moonlight’s disarray.  

A group of men,
(my father, my husband,)  
stand naked nearby
like birds of prey.   
I won’t say yes,
but I can’t say no;
I have no juice
to give them anyway.

So, there on the sand
I’ll stay 
until the wind swells
and rubs 

itself against the palm trees
and the moon
scatters itself  
over the surface of the bay.

2. Box

He says:
Go through this,
a dog rises to its feet
behind the white fence of his teeth,

my stomach reaches around to hold itself tight,
children pull my skirt,
the baby like a towel folded over my arm,  

his drool falling to the floor.
inside the box a book
open to poems: my poems,

words that crackle on the page.
Throw it away
my seams give a little—

but I lift the box
and for a few steps outside
I am pregnant with it

one foot then another,
my vision rippled,
I see only the dumpster

and the box.
I lift the trap door and drop
the whole of it inside.

3. Zipper

Years later he’ll say, I will always
love you as the mother of my children, 

until I swallow the words and my world 
folds backwards, spilled
thread , two hands tearing 
fabric, ripped
stitches—I breathe
up to the very border
of my life
and step through.
out of all that was known 
and all that was true.