Julia Heney

Matins, Arkansas

You don’t need me, so I have learned
to feign indifference. And, like the painters,
maintain an impartial visage
in front of my subjects: pears and grapes.
Yesterday in the world of metaphor
where you often stroll and sigh, I stepped
down into the cellar, artificial night,
where the potatoes and the apples
from last winter dream their skin plump
and red again: I was nothing like them, so I took
my body back up the ladder into the day.
Not that you asked where I went. I’m writing
to tell you: do you see that others
forage the world of roots
and feelings? Or do you only value
the sensory experience you
confirm in hand? Do you know,
you with your mushroom caps and dead,
where did you leave your golden self,
bathing by the bluffs in summer?
No god of American buffalo or cottonmouth,
you were just a child. I fell for your illusions.

Julia Heney lives in Chicago, Illinois. She received her MFA from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. Her work has appeared in CutBank, Devil's Lake, the Best of the Net Anthology, and elsewhere.