The Boiler

Julia Heney

WINTER HOUSE

            The kitchen stove heats
to make the coffee. The bread,
            risen of its own

            accord in the bowl,
needs no kneading, goes happy
            into the oven.

            The shades fold up, locks
unlatch, windows swing—gesture
            at the trees outside

            who chatter, suffer
their heavy new foliage,
            then fall down to rot.

            On this warm morning,
they kiss and pick at each branch
            within reach, childlike.

            The house is amused.
No one occupies inside
            now. There is no need.


STATE AND MAIN

At the crosswalk in the center
of the town I own

by memory, rightful heritage
of childhood, et cetera,

I place you again: friend
with a black dog on a red leash.

In this gray landscape,
it is evening.

You are bundled
against the weather.

It has been a long winter.
No one can touch you.

LEVIATHAN

Love too was a reason for carrying on:
as for hope, which cannot be sustained,

its pastels begin to melt
in the heat. Summer season:

the curtain hangs limp from the rod,
eerie in its drape. A blank sheet

hides a hospital bed and
its patient. When one says perfect stasis,

there is still urgency. I have no doubt
you’ve seen it too. This object

hung in an open room. The wind enters
in a ribbon, passes through

you, your hair. The curtain

does not move. Your eyes
confirm the thing and you believe it.

_______________________

Julia Heney lives in Baltimore and teaches creative writing at Johns Hopkins University, where she recently received her MFA from the Writing Seminars. Her work has appeared in CutBank, Devil’s Lake, Word Riot, and was included in the Best of the Net 2014.