Rage Hezekiah


You were the last man inside me.
Now my girlfriend and I snip the balls
from the purple dildo I won

at a feminist raffle, and trash
the pink-skinned dick
which slipped into her harness—

reminding me of you. I tried
to learn to let you fuck me,
but lusted after every

punk-girl bassist at basement shows,
whose hair obscured the features
of her face. I allowed desire

in darkness, telling myself she could be
a boy. Watching her, riveted,
angular blond bangs hung

like a scrim, bright eyes beneath—
I learned want. Her fingers firm
against the neck and fretboard

of her Fender, head bowed
in reverence to her own
powerful hands, summoning song.



Capricorn Season

I watch the sky turn yellow

from the wrong angle, a glow—

hurricane warning or

sunrise. Why haven’t the birds

found the seed in the feeder?

How else can I serve

something small,

in faith that I’m enough?

My meditation teacher

says without desire, everything

is sufficient. I haven’t learned

not to vibrate with want,

even if my heart’s flicker

is only for bourbon or brown

butter ice cream. I fix my eyes

on the horizon to see

if it’s snowing, but

everything is soaked

in hazy hope. Symptomology

of winter. I can’t tell

if the parking lot next door

is paved with asphalt or

television static. I want

only this—

to be insatiable

and told not to want, to fail

in some semblance of balance.

Goddess, do not free me from

desire, teach me to want

only whatever this is. Show

me sated. Show me light.




I traded one black dog for another
          my mother says, of the Rottweiler

she brought home from the shelter
          after she'd peppered our front steps

with my father's clothes. She
          was drinking & he'd cheated,

so we got a puppy, a round
          bundle with a bark like a bird. Three

women & a dog, living
          in The Feminist Safe House—

her name for the cove home
          she reclaimed, painted the soft pink

of rose quartz. My sister & I
          danced to the Indigo Girls while

mom taught us misandry—
          men as enemy. We traveled

to Isla Mujeres, feasted on fresh
          fish & papaya for breakfast, swam

in a local cenote. Liberated,
          we climbed Chichén Itzá's 91 steps,

flexed our biceps at the apex,
          chanting sisterhood is powerful

at mom's command. She snapped
          photos to bring back, all of us

freckled, sated. On the return flight,
          nestled in the middle seat, our mother

kissed our sun-bleached curls, saying:
          We don't need men for anything. Not a damn thing.



Rage Hezekiah is a Cave Canem and MacDowell Fellow who earned her MFA from Emerson College. She is the recipient of the Saint Botolph Emerging Artist Award in Literature and was nominated for Best New Poets, 2017. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Fifth Wednesday, Hayden's Ferry Review, The Cape Rock, Salamander, Tampa Review, and West Branch, as well as other journals. Her writing is featured in various anthologies including Other Tongues: Mixed Race Women Speak Out, All We Can Hold: poems of motherhood, and Nasty Women Poets: An Anthology of Subversive Verse. You can find more of her work at ragehezekiah.com.