Heather Momyer

We are in the season of endings, and it is cold. Already there is snow in Wisconsin. The leaves are dying. Sometimes I feel that I am dying. There is frost on the ground & when the bright sun shines in the early morning, I can see my breath leave my body. You might kick leaves and say “yay,” but my lungs hurt under these ribs. My heart hurts. You say, “I’ll keep you warm,” & I feel you behind me. We wear gray, but your arms hold me & you button my sweater, top to bottom. Your arms wrap me, wrapping me in wool, and on this day, I think, “Yes, I love you today, though only today,” & it is tender and tight, and I am wrapped. There is something about bonding, and it is tight, and my lungs hurt when it is cold, and my heart hurts & bleeds. I am wrapped & we are bound. There is blood on the bed. You’ve wrapped me & tied me, and I forget for the moment that you are tied to someone who thinks I am a “fucking cunt.” There is something about bonds & you are wrapped in vows, but your arms are tight and I am forgetting to breathe while blood runs and it is winter, and today, I feel like dying when breath & pulse are slowed by ice in the body. She screams and there is blood on our sheets. I bleed & my heart slows, pumping slowly, slower & slower, pumping what is in my body to what is outside & away from me & going into air that is cold and icy & going farther & gone. Your arms are tight and I am squeezed tight. We see the breath leave, pushed out by bodies, slow & cold. Our breath goes as we speak and I want to know how many times you can say “forever” or even “I love you” with a straight face because we are contorted with bindings & bonds, and we are wrapped up, tied up, and surely your chest hurts as well. My lungs are held tight, and sometimes I cannot breathe, and sometimes I feel that I am dying, and I cannot speak. I cannot say, “Yes, I will bleed for you.” We are wrapped and bleeding and our bodies are colder still.


Heather Momyer lives in Chicago and teaches writing and literature. Her writing appears in journals such as The Collagist, H_NGM_N, Moria, JMWW, trnsfr, and Exquisite Corpse, among others. New work is forthcoming in Ekleksographia.