“A Story in regards to the Coronary heart,” “Betrayals,” and “Mattress,” by Andrea Hollander


A Story Concerning the Coronary heart

At first I trusted
its fearless turning
and I adopted.

However the coronary heart thins 
with every disappointment,
twists in on itself.

Then it flies out just like the owl 
that slammed into the windshield
the night I used to be on the wheel
bearing his silence once more.

We stopped the automotive, lifted
the nonetheless owl from the asphalt,
certainly one of its eyes caught open.

Even then he refused to talk.
All evening he stored his again
inflexible beside me. I considered the owl
stiffening on the roadside,
and I couldn’t sleep.

My coronary heart turned inward,
a tympani of worry, his—
whilst he slept—
a snake in placing distance,

its enamel all eyeteeth, its venom 
seething within the wound.

And within the morning
extra white house between us—
Cassandra along with her mouth closed.

So I dared to open my very own throat
opened it however couldn’t communicate.

When he lastly spoke,
saving the worst for final,
my coronary heart, a gap at its core,

like that owl
struck with out warning,

fell and fell

and was lifted for a second

then left on the pavement,
even its shadow scavenged.


From Blue Mistaken for Sky (Autumn Home Press, 2018) and reprinted right here with permission of the press. First revealed in Sou’wester (Spring 2014).



No less than my father didn’t betray anybody.
It was the plaque in his mind that betrayed him.

As for my ex—nicely, time passes, and I see
how some take what they want and even handle 

to imagine the lies they inform. That’s so far as I’d go,
if I have been writing about him.

Others don’t know they’re talking falsehoods. 
The 12 months earlier than his analysis, Dad started

to introduce himself as if he have been nonetheless Lieutenant
Colonel Hollander, as if the subsequent 40 years 

had by no means occurred. Maybe plaque is so hungry
it eats away reminiscence scores at a time.

It was summer season and he stood on the entrance door 
in his winter coat and hat watching one thing 

by means of the little rectangular window.
Site visitors? Youngsters on the crosswalk?

Birds within the previous cherry tree on the entrance garden 
we didn’t know had been slowly dying? 

My marriage was like that, regardless of its profusions 
of blooms. None of us knew how quickly that tree

would thud down throughout a late summer season storm, 
the ideas of its branches scratching the entrance door, 

my father’s face framed in its window,
the few phrases he nonetheless knew—

hole little grunting sounds, actually—
escaping from his throat like birds. 


From Blue Mistaken for Sky (Autumn Home Press, 2018) and reprinted right here with permission of the press. First revealed in Vox Populi (Summer time 2018).




I don’t thoughts mendacity down at evening
on my own, don’t thoughts the absence
on the opposite aspect or the very fact 
of being alone. I don’t even thoughts 
that the person who used to 
occupy that house selected to lie
in different girls’s beds. I like 
that now I can stretch
all the way in which out, my physique
in good proportions,
as if I have been as balanced
as a planet within the cosmos.

Typically once I lie down
I consider the 35 years
of beds we shared, that first
foam mattress on the ground
of the attic room, the lease so low-cost
we didn’t complain 
in regards to the mice tittering all evening
within the ceiling and partitions. The proper
Posturepedic we saved up for
and stored for years, the vintage iron body 
I painted open air, solely to find later 
the tiny damselfly imbedded 
within the bar I grabbed throughout intercourse, 
a demise held tight in my grasp. 

Now all of the pillows are mine
and the cool place the place the highest sheet
touches the underside on the aspect
that was once his. 
Once I need that coolness, 
I take it. No different physique in the way in which,
nobody else to watch out not
to disturb once I wake at four a.m.
And if I can’t get again to sleep, I can
activate the bedside lamp and browse, 
take heed to late-night jazz on the radio,
then sleep so long as I rattling nicely please.

But some mornings, rising alone
from the mattress I purchased when he left,
within the flat I discovered once I offered the home,
in a room he’ll by no means see—
earlier than I open my eyes, regardless of myself, 
I attain for him. 


From Blue Mistaken for Sky (Autumn Home Press 2018) and reprinted right here with permission of the press. First revealed in Cloudbank 12 (Summer time 2018).



Final evening I set the eating room desk
he’s by no means seen. He’s by no means seen
this residence or the road the place I reside.

Or me with out the thirty-five kilos
I misplaced after the divorce—one pound
for every of our years collectively.

I took out the nice silver and the Wedgewood 
we by no means used. I ate by candlelight
alone. I didn’t thoughts. I didn’t miss him.

The river gentle brightened because the moon rose.
I watched that. Breathed within the fruity redolence
of the chardonnay. Sipped. I ate a rooster breast 

marinated in champagne and limes. I ate white rice
and contemporary inexperienced beans from my neighbor’s backyard.
I ate alone and needed nothing. 

I didn’t elevate my glass. I did the one chore 
that was once his. I preferred the sound
of the rinse water as I lifted the plate 

from the suds, the little clink as I set it 
into the dish drainer, the hum of the wine glass 
as I wiped it dry. I do know now the place the thoughts 

can take you if you stand by your self 
within the kitchen after a great meal. 
No matter comes subsequent will occur anyway. 


From Panorama with Feminine Determine: New & Chosen Poems, 1982 – 2012 (Autumn Home Press 2013) and reprinted right here with permission of the press. First revealed in Spillway 20 (Summer time 2013).


Hearken to the poet studying her work right here

Learn interviews with the writer right here and right here, and critiques of her work right here, right here, and right here.



Andrea Hollander moved to Portland, Oregon, in 2011, after a few years within the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, the place she ran a mattress & breakfast for fifteen years and served because the Author-in-Residence at Lyon Faculty for twenty-two. In Portland, she conducts writing seminars and tutorials in her dwelling. Hollander’s fifth full-length poetry assortment, Blue Mistaken for Sky, was launched in September 2018 by Autumn Home Press. Blue Mistaken for Sky is out there for buy right here. Her fourth, Panorama with Feminine Determine: New and Chosen Poems, 1982 – 2012 (Autumn Home Press 2013), was a finalist for the Oregon Ebook Award, and her first, Home And not using a Dreamer (Story Line Press 1993), gained the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize. Hollander’s many different honors embrace two Pushcart Prizes (in poetry and literary nonfiction), two poetry fellowships from the Nationwide Endowment for the Arts, the D.H. Lawrence Fellowship, the Runes Poetry Award, the Ellipsis Prize, the Vern Rutsala Award, a person artist fellowship from Literary Arts of Oregon, and two poetry fellowships from the Arkansas Arts Council. Her work is included in dozens of textbooks, anthologies, and literary journals. Her web site is. Writer picture credit score: Brooke Budy.


Poet’s Be aware

I lived for many of my 35-year marriage within the woods of Arkansas’s Ozark Mountains and subsequently, in the course of the eight years since my divorce, in downtown Portland, Oregon. The distinction between the form of life I lived in that forest and my current one on this metropolis parallels, for me, the extra distinction between married life and dwelling alone. Poetry speaks, partly, the language of place—exterior, inside, and particularly the intersection the place the outer and internal come collectively, that very important third place that’s evoked, generally subtly, in these poems, which give attention to my journey from the woods to town and from marriage to divorce and past.

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