Heart-Shaped Box

This is a photograph of your hands scooping water out of the river named lonely running through
the center of your grandmother’s chest. This is a photograph of your knees bent at the altar
painted with the years between you & the last time you saw your father cry. This is a photograph
of the look in your eyes when your blood stopped for that fraction of a second just before impact.
This is a photograph of your skin crawling on its belly to the ocean of your blue-blue tension.
This is a photograph of your mouth full of sand. This is a photograph of your mother forever
trying to floss out the spaces between your teeth. This is a photograph of the shadow shaped by
the tower of secrets sleeping behind your ear. This is a photograph of you leaning in to kiss the
collage of lips that the secrets came from. This is a photograph of your neck missing the feeling
of a breath no longer there. This is a photograph of the back of your head holding all that you that
you’ve ever known up until now.

Amanda OaksAmanda Oaks is the founding editor of Words Dance Publishing. Her works have appeared in numerous online and print publications, including Stirring and Dressing Room Poetry Journal. She is the author of two poetry collections, Hurricane Mouth (NightBallet Press 2014) and I Eat Crow, a co-authored split book centered around living in the Appalachian region of Western Pennsylvania (Words Dance 2014). She is currently working on a collection of poems called, Raised on Pop Songs. Visit her website at amandaoaks.com.