Sheila-Na-Gig online


Eva Heisler

Eva Heisler has published two books of poetry: Reading Emily Dickinson in Icelandic and Drawing Water. Honors include the Poetry Society of America’s Emily Dickinson Award and fellowships at MacDowell and Millay Arts. Poems have appeared in Bomb, Crazyhorse, Colorado Review, The Grist, Heavy Feather Review, The Ilanot ReviewIndiana ReviewMichigan Quarterly Review, and Poetry Northwest. She was co-winner of the 2021 Poetry International Prize.

Walking Home After the Night Shift

All night the night shrieking.
It can never be the same ears
that hear a child beating her chest.
I do not listen, and I am not turning around.
I am only something the sadness makes indefinite,
All night the hair, the skin, my skirt collected static
but the morning
offers the gleam of a freshly painted door,
the nod of a neighbor sweeping whirlybirds from her steps.
Mercy on me, bless me in the middle of the street
after a shift at Hastings Psychiatric Center
when I stop talking to myself and lift my skirt
to spray Static Guard. Five thousand steps
to warm milk I will hold in my mouth before swallowing,
to sleep that will dissolve an indifferent body.
Numbers have no sound but the one made by a child
counting the paper towels she spreads on her bed.

%d bloggers like this: