I lived unburied but dead, my corpse did not rot, children never cried, hands still peeled carrots, folded towels into perfect thirds; my feet walked behind the wheels of baby carriages, pushed on the gas as I circled our town in the family car, tires following the tracks from the day before, the week before, the years…. I faked my orgasms early, my husband’s face always tilted away. Perhaps he could smell the stench of death. Who knows? After I cried out, sex would end. He’d move to his own bed. I would then close my arms around my loneliness, rock my body back and forth and whisper from my dead mouth into my dead heart, It’s OK. It will be OK. You’re OK.
Poet and essayist, Rachel Neve-Midbar’s collection Salaam of Birds won the 2018 Patricia Bibby First Book Award and was published by Tebot Bach in 2020. She is also the author of the chapbook What the Light Reveals (Tebot Bach, 2014, winner of The Clockwork Prize). Rachel’s work has appeared in Blackbird, Prairie Schooner, Grist and Georgia Review as well as other publications and anthologies. Her awards include the Crab Orchard Review Richard Peterson Prize, the Passenger Poetry Prize and nominations for The Pushcart Prize. Rachel is a current PhD candidate at The University of Southern California where her research concerns menstruation in contemporary poetry. She is also editor of Stained: an anthology of writing about menstruation for the AuntFlo2020 Project. More at rachelnevemidbar.com