6.09 / August 2011

Three Poems


A woman’s got to deal
with many caves, she’s also
got to do the dishes, care
a lot about the amount of
fuzz on the floor. A woman
could slice her breasts off
at any moment, she’s strong
enough to tug her hair
free from her head. A woman
like my mother had the capacity
to kick her infant daughter, she is like a horse.
She is bigger than you, but she does not
know many things that you know. A woman’s
got most of these caves inside her
own body and the caves outside her
are spots of black disappointment, she
understands everything, especially
that she is alone, she is frightening.

Sometimes I think if you shined
a flashlight up my pussy
I’d look like a wide open
bear’s mouth, but not
as pink.

She learns early that she can
terrify a man without trying.
All she’s got to do is
have a nightmare that wakes her
when he’s in the bed.
In the bed, she becomes boneless
for him, but he cannot know how
terribly powerful she
is without her bones.


How versatile is the mussel when it is only expected to do its one thing.

My man traces whale rib bones out of white cardboard in
a grace like when his face
is between my legs and he pauses to stare at me up close.

So often when my head’s
tilted down to read or wash
I hope for his little mouth
cinctured on the back of my neck: he’s already won it, he has to enjoy it; I cut my hair short for this.

More and more, I clamp ugly like a grub,
living itchy in his black hair and smelling of his nipple, of sweet brine not breast milk;
he called me moules in the shower
and has watched me piss for 75 years;
I think it’s working.

[blowjob excerpt from You’ve got to carry your own body, son, because a person can only carry one body at a time]

When my man is in my mouth, above me, I’m folded religiously, so pretty,
like a child praying. I look
up at him. He watches me continuously, as if witnessing a miracle

he’s been witnessing his whole life. His eyes are moist
with the tears of the

spread with slow blinks
as though he were sleepy,
he deserves this rest.
An easy blowjob is the most beautiful way
to lament life’s long suffering. No?
A man being blown is soft and without
his war – he holds your head
and jams his whole body into your mouth
and sometimes his eyes flame
like a street dog’s, but
he also understands that a mouth is for eating, and you are eating him, just without chewing. Because of your strength,
you can do this.

Johanna Hedva's doctor told her not to worry about smoking so much. (In the meantime: lives in Los Angeles, schools at CalArts, works at johannakozma.com.)
6.09 / August 2011