6:3: “Inside Her Heart”, by Rachel Swirsky

6:3: “Inside Her Heart”, by Rachel Swirsky
The morning

our youngest
leaves for college,

my wife sits down
in the breakfast nook.
“I’m done being a woman,”

she says. “I’m going to try
being a house.”

She draws a sweater
over her chest like
curtains, a wide hat
like a roof perched
atop her head. Weeds
spread across the linoleum

at her feet, littered
with forget-me-nots
and matchbox cars.
She moves from
the chair by the stove
to one near the window.
“Better neighborhood,”
she says.

At night, she

opens her mouth.
Lights pour out,
and scratchy music
like old records.
She beckons me
parting the curtains
so I can press my ear
to her heart and hear

tiny people’s footsteps
inside her, dancing
reckless, full
of opportunity.


Rachel Swirsky is a graduate of Clarion West 2005 and a fiction MFA student at the Iowa Writers Workshop. Her poetry has appeared in markets including Abyss & Apex, Goblin Fruit, and Sybil’s Garage.

Rachel is intrigued by speculative fiction which enters the domestic realm, something which has at times been considered antithetical to a genre that spans space ships and epic battles. With this in mind, she is writing a series of poems on the topic of Domestic Transformations, of which this is the first.



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