Begin with admission ok I've loved most everything in my life incorrectly But so have you We live in a world that means us harm Sickness we never talk about Mechanism that allows the gaze to avert How a heart will fasten itself to itself how no one can tell II. There's a saying that goes Say it three times to make it true Apparatus apparatus apparatus A way to or towards distance but through ritual which makes it ok III. Unfortunate you said to me once How our hearts embolden but do not cleave At birth each of us is given three hearts You will have to burn them all IV. Seven things inside the body can't be helped Instinct this was the first dread In one version you inherit her hands You have her eyes your father says But we live in a world with no consolation which means what rends you rends you Rain coming down the valley like hair A weather you can see before it touches Light on the leaves of a tree that is gone Your life will fill with images that fail Your body will drag itself to the woods to die In one version the valley is green and the people inside it are quiet In one version my mother is raped in a field but she is a child and I could not protect her I looked for you she tells me I looked and looked but you were not there In one version my mother turns banshee her body walks home and no one says a thing V. A traumatized body bifurcates turns animal mineral calcifies In one version you are made almost entirely of salt VI. Dear person it's important to say real things Nature is not kind or outside it pulsed smally like bees inside us In the body is a bone the world keeps breaking In this version your body is not your body so even your loss does not belong to you VII. Mother I've loved most everything in my life incorrectly In the bestiary is a body like mine sits there hums In the bestiary is a body that looks like mine but isn't.
Heather Napualani Hodges was born in Hawaii and lives in Portland, Oregon where she received her M.F.A. in poetry from Portland State University. She works with youth and freelances as a creative writing mentor/consultant for people of all ages. She’s passionate about finding ways to help others navigate the landscapes of loss and trauma and hopes to someday publish a book of poetry and an illustrated children’s book that look at how our bodies possess the tools to help us survive grief and create meaning.