Deserts too are the source of it:

as a child who would be contented crying


or a lace purse that becomes more full

of holes delights in losing balms.


Forget, forget: the cream dilutes

its fats into black tea, unfurls.


What would I admit to?

I enjoyed observing: things


disappear. We are not permitted

articulate visions of their last moments


in our hands. The swathes of burned flesh

regain their healthy pink


while the owner sleeps.


I can’t explain here. Discomfort

wails until she’s tired; arnica stings.



Julia Heney received her MFA from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University, where she taught creative writing and literature. Her work has appeared in Devil’s Lake, CutBank, Sixth Finch, and elsewhere.