Broken Shell


Some days I want my poems to come complete,
to pull them whole and oval from my mouth,

like eggs, their plaster-of-paris shells delicately
enclosing a life within.

The o in opening,     in ovum,     in blood.

The o in rimon, which is Hebrew
for pomegranate and for hand grenade.

Seeds that develop in a sac, a pomegranate
deep inside me, red roe, spore to carry

a new potency, climb my insides like a vine.
Pine cones whose kernels are only released in heat:

fire that rises, fills, explodes, an orange force
I understand. Sometimes there is just this:

the whole open sky, the orange leavings
of the day, blue deepening to the place

where stars start their life in darkness.
Tonight can be a fist full of pills or a dream

held in an empty husk, can be a man
who uncovers himself, lays his manhood

in my palm. Tonight can be a broken shell.
Tonight can be a poem.

Listen to this poem:

Broken Shell by Rachel Heimowitz

Photo fragility 1 by Barbara Krawcowicz used under Creative Commons License (BY-NC-ND-2.0)


About Author

Rachel Heimowitz is the author of the chapbook, What the Light Reveals (Tebot Bach Press, 2014). Her work has appeared in Poet Lore, Salamander, Crab Orchard Review, and Prairie Schooner. Her work was recently a finalist for the COR Richard Peterson Prize and she has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize. She has just received her MFA from Pacific University.

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