Darla Himeles

The First Migraine I Remember Happened in Hollywood

June Street, September: my flip-flopped feet levitated from the Tercel’s clicking engine through the street level chipboard apartment door & over the blue woven rugs to Bucky’s bed. Invisible crowbar clobbered the temple, or a tumor bloomed, or this was how consciousness ends: a forgotten beginning, a pulsing light beneath lids, burrowed beneath dark blankets, Elliott Smith a whisper in headphones, slow numb up fingers to hands. Hours passed before panic caved to dream, cerulean & deep, which jolted to a phone’s ring next morning, the eleventh: a plane, an attack, smoke swarming papers & feet.

Good Reasons to Freeze to Death

  1. Wading in 29 degree Fahrenheit water, you hoist two children into your safety boat.

  2. Freezer sex: locked door, cold burn, all hairs erect, the body’s openings little saunas, sweaty collapse against tubs of frozen custard.

  3. Eleanor Roosevelt appears in your office, grips your forearm, says, They need you to sail to Norway. You forget to ask questions. Your origin is iceberg-littered. You don’t know how to sail.

  4. You return an injured polar bear cub to his mother, vast glacier, and the long trek back breaks you boot-deep in snow.

  5. A fierce love of penguins.

  6. Upon landing, you look the creature in what you suppose is its eye as winds rip into your gloves and insulated arms. Impossible conditions, you think, but the creature speaks in major chords. Two legs and no visible mouth, casing of burnt silver. Your camera will transmit to Earth, centuries from now, proof that you were the first: your helmet’s speaker crackling sung melodies that complement the creature’s pipe-organ-like speech, a harmony that brings you both to your knees. Your spacesuit tears asunder.

In our dream band, on baroque cello:

Darla Himeles (she/her) is the author of Cleave and of the chapbook Flesh Enough, both published by Get Fresh Books. Her work appears in recent issues of The Massachusetts Review, Orange Blossom Review, NAILED, Lesbians are Miracles, and The Night Heron Barks. She holds an AB in English from Bryn Mawr College, an MFA in poetry and poetry in translation from Drew University, and PhD in American literature from Temple University, where she works as assistant director of the university’s writing center. Darla lives in Philadelphia with her wife, three-year-old child, and two orange cats.

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