The way your hair is
Kelp, ellipsis hazmat
suit exclamation point 
and cloud

pause and wait
two minutes

The way your mouth is

Hancock airport
gate 5
coming in from somewhere
I can't make out the location from here
I have forgotten my glasses
you are too far away
standing there
blah blah insert a beautiful description
don't say you were 
not waiting
for me

the way your 

blank space

doesn't matter
because there's a news bulletin 
a mexican gang is raping women
or something

my son toddles into the room and says

he loves me
and I say 
you too 
but I mean

not that I don't love him but

erase erase erase
sadness ocean water
holocaust and 
that photograph of you  
reading poetry
to a room full of people

question mark
maybe people
or else a room full of
zoo animals

what am I thinking

your hair face eyes
dash sadness
sulfur beauty

I give up

A series of messages received from my OKCupid profile, all misogyny redacted


Your hair [redacted].  My warmth, feel the [redacted]
sadness.  [redacted].  At my house, with wild
turkeys, we [redacted].  What I really mean is:

have you [redacted] much lately?  Have you pressed a
large seashell to your [redacted]?  Would you ever walk

with me, wearing only one boot and a [redacted] and 
cloisonne necklace and I would [redacted] all over your 

[redacted].  This wasn't meant to be offensive but 

can I maybe touch [redacted] or nourish you with soup when 
you are sick or just [redacted]?  Can I take you to the hospital

after I [redacted] and there is nothing left where your 
[redacted] should be?  Haha fuck you, cunt,
I can love too, I matter [redacted].  I have a heart too,
you know, [redacted].

Mother of Two Live Children and Three Dead

So you live in a tiny house, entirely dependent on wood heat in the winter.
Let's say you live somewhere cold.  Alaska.  The North Pole.  Neptune.  
Let's say you run out of logs to burn.  Maybe you were too lazy to cut 
the appropriate amount, maybe you just miscalculated.  But now, what do you 
start with?  What do you burn first?  First chairs, useless wooden bowls from
your grandmother.  Then it's January and you're sitting on the floor so what
next?  The legs of your sofa, maybe the headboard of your bed.  There's only

so much burnable inside a house.  Before long you look at your dog.  Panic.
Look at your husband.  Cry.  Your first born, just the right size.  Your 
left arm, who needs it?  There's only so much.  You try going out there, 

waist deep snow, weeping through it.  All you have is an old maul.  
You're exhausted, aren't you?  What more can you give up, throw into the fire?

You know it's only you or the house left, the old lathe would spark like nothing,
like it was meant to.  But you can only sit outside a burning house

for so long before it's just a hill of black and you're cold again and pawing
through the ash like a hungry animal oh no, this does not smell like something
that could sustain you through February.  Because there's a limit to what you 

you can burn.  This mistake is always what you choose to start with.

Crow Hollow 19

Heather Bell

About the poems: No comment.

Murder Four, Spring 2017

Crow Hollow Books