When I heard my epidermis ticking like a time bomb.
When I heard him whisper
my name as he touched the soft parts.
When I heard my voice say “no.”
When I heard no one else around.
When I heard his laughter in another room.
When I heard the train
rumble along the tracks outside.
When I heard it takes 27 days for it to renew itself,
and I couldn’t wait that long to be free of his fingerprints.
When I heard the moon would be full again.
When I heard there’s a term for it— heard other women utter it out loud.
When I heard bark might be an option.
When I heard the branch crack under the pressure.
When I heard barred owls hoot and wail late at night,
I could not begin to tell who
cooks for you or me or anyone else.
I could only inspect my own brood patch
and hope to sky dance
under those reflected beams of light.
Amy Nash has lived in every northern state between Massachusetts and Minnesota except for Wisconsin and Michigan, resulting in brackish poetry that mixes the Mississippi River with the Atlantic Ocean and everything between. Her poems have appeared in a range of journals and anthologies, including If Bees Are Few: A Hive of Bee Poems and The Heart of All That Is: Reflections on Home. She has given readings on Minnesota Public Radio and at various venues and events regionally and nationally, including Bowery Poetry in New York City. She is also the author of an original poetry blog.