"Brakes" by Heather Bell
He is underneath my car in the garage,
fixing my brakes. He says, "can you hand
me that wrench?" and I know then that
I will never love anyone again. He is
grunting like he's skinning a fox
or bear. It is September and I will never
love anyone again. I will not cry about it.
My heart has a face and it is covered
in wounds so love has become too
dangerous. It is September, I count twelve
weird singing orioles in the tree. He barks,
"I need the hammer, woman!" and I idly
wonder what it is like to be loved,
the way the water at the lake loves
driftwood. The way the waves place it
on the shore but then returns to softly
take it home. I no longer want to run away,
even, because all homes become
violent eventually. I turn my back
to the garage and whisper, "I will never
love anyone again" and I let there
be a wail underneath the small words.
It is okay, here is your wrench, hammer,
battered bits of sheetrock saved in my
nightstand, from when you hit the wall
when you meant to hit me. Because
there is no one in this world willing
to love me, it is September, time blows
by like an ambulance siren. He says,
"bitch give me the wrench again!" Ok,
I reply calmly even though my life is
geese migrating. I will never love anyone
again, I am too small and sad and tired.
I sit on the gravel driveway, quietly
listening for what he needs next.
"Bear" by Heather Bell
You know, you are dangerous to
most men, he said.
Because you are more interested
them like antique pots
than for love.
I laughed and I guess laughter is agreement or
or a bear that suddenly appears in your bathroom
while you are hiding from
I am not really like that, I replied
because of the bear
who was obvious
and too large to fit
in the bathtub
where it wanted to go
to be washed by me
You are really like that though,
he said, eyeing the bear. You are.