There was a field we had to cross to get to the party that had the drugs.

After our parents’d dropped us off at the house of our lies,

the voyage to the true house had us out back over a fence and across a wide field.

The dark swam with trees.

Edges pressed against me, an image in a mirror, my snakes, though made entirely of shadows.

I remember how the air was silent, but also how it hissed — me?                                 She —

faded, a face in front of my face: I was young so made the common mistake of thinking

she was about me. Love is overexposed, an x-ray —

I was in love and warm with trouble, I didn’t look back —

only the bones in which you make your house — build, girl — build! —

scurry to a pleasure mistaken to be mine.



I had in the death of my womanhood, the death of my condition, [indecipherable] my man.


He covered the floor of the gallery with pomegranates.

His soft eyes stupid when the janitor refused to clean the stains.


Dream — I am an architect building a big building in the dark.


I have many tasks and charts and I am precise and also chthonic.

Husband sucks my cock in front of the workers we employ.


My favorite books are written by dead women, The Wall, The Door

what I did to my house?


“Little by little I get used to this life.”

—Silvina Ocampo, “Men Animals Vines” 

The little box,

and the people in it

with us.


Hour by hour,

she is her own unimportant

but persistent sun.

A window — three windows, seven. A text message: “She passed.” At the inner corner

of the kitten’s eyes, a black crust grows every day, every day it will have to be wiped away

for the rest of her life, the imprint of her birth, birthcrust of the street, growing ceaselessly where

she sees. Death — the worst wait, the worst ending—a wig hangs in the closet, burnt to look

“crazy” — it will get worn for a performance, Facebook says 550 people are “interested” in going

— they are willing to wait — and then they will go home, they will all one by one fall asleep.

A crust will grow in their eyes — a window, three windows, seven — that’s how memory works

— or ceases to.



“The Drop, that wrestles in the Sea –
Forgets her own locality –
As I toward thee –”
— Emily Dickinson


Plenum of my death — heel of space —

the foam that’s born me, bores, bears —

history, memory, mine,

none and no one, “I’m.”


An aesthetic of death — ocean’s jealous — stasis:

an apology of watery pivots, balances — ah, see:

bathos —

scum of the tub, sponge, stop, germs in the drain —

the drain, drain, drain —


Don’t sing about God, but pain

and possibility narrowing like an eye —

how the flesh has been


Johanna Hedva is from Los Angeles. She is currently working on a book called This Earth, Our Hospital, which includes the essays "Sick Woman Theory" and "In Defense of De-Persons." Since 2016 she has lived in Berlin where she sings and plays guitar in the noise-punk band IMPORTANT PART.