Three Poems by Heather Knox




after Lorrie Moore


On your first date before the divorce is finalized, you’ll wonder whether to tell him you’re married. You will choose wrong. None of the words for what you are, or will be, stick: separated, divorced, divorcee, unmarried, excised, exorcized. You consider widow because it’s more romantic.


He is cute, and young. Too cute, too young. You wish you’d gone on a few balding divorcee dates with boring men to practice nonchalance and walking in heels in the winter. You’re sure you’re staring. You’re sure he’s here on a bet.


Every date has a part you replay over and over. When he put you on your stomach and kissed along your spine like no lover ever had, you’re sure.


Fourteen. The number of times you don’t quite mention Washington or what you left behind or why. When he asks why you moved, you wave it off and say oh, things fell apart for me, hoping for nonchalance. He waits for more but doesn’t press.


He’s kissing your neck when you say something to yourself about taking it slow that he assumes is meant for him. He murmurs something reassuring about you needing to feel comfortable and safe. You moan involuntarily and wonder what that says about you.


When you run your hand along a rail, you can’t blame the wood for splinters.







Snow means at least it’s not too cold to. Bullet, dodged but somehow still a dent like the almost of it. Sometimes I pretend I’m a widow since you changed your name and the locks. Dearly beloved, expansion and the hunger behind it. Out west the sky swallows itself. Fences here mean nothing depending which side you’re on. We told everyone you slipped on the rug. The ER doctor mistook the ending in my eyes for something more sinister, what weather leaves in elegy of itself. Winter came on and I held it up to the light: mend. Damn the ouroboros. Damn all that sky.







I only want in halves. When I say I want you to fuck me, I mean let’s make love. I dress unsolicited and leave the same. Dear Diary, I and comes the slow growl. My belly swells. Some losses possess. I want to be had, for you to have. I only want in halves. When the mouth. When comes fracture. Linger and unfuck. Ululate the night like birdsong, like interrobang, like Twitter witch (#conjurer). Loving easily, that old sin: the backdoor man only wanting in halves. Who all or nothings anymore? Even night strays its boundary, stumblebee, mistress estuarial. My lips taste like honey after I have you. That’s the stick of it.