Just Another Moonless Night by Rachel Heimowitz

Chugging for home
to the boat-engine’s dying

cough and sputter,
five of us alone together,

in the deepest part
of a moonless night,

18° North of the equator,
under a Milky Way so thick

you could pour it into a glass.
My father, his loud, black shadow

haloed against the night,
ranting at the stars:

his shitty boat, shitty life,
shit on by everyone, the thief mechanic,

incompetent wife, his three useless
daughters, each respectively renamed:

the dumb head, the saddle,
the power–hungry bitch—

And underneath this heft
and punch came the soft sounds

of water lapping against the boat,
and hundreds of sudden

rain-like splashes as schools of small
fish rise wave after wave

as if from an underwater
explosion, trying to escape

what we could see lit up
perfectly in its own radiance:

a shark’s suave body
swimming with its mouth wide open.

 

 

 

Rachel Heimowitz is the author of the chapbook, What the Light Reveals (Tebot Bach Press, 2014.) Her work has appeared in Spillway, Salamander, Crab Orchard Review, and Prairie Schooner. She was recently a finalist for the COR Richard Peterson Prize and she has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize. Rachel received her MFA from Pacific University in Spring 2015. www.rachelheimowitz.com.

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