Hannah Kucharzak


And now: the harm. A paper cut under my nail bed. The bereavement of abundance. The thankless pain to sit quietly in the fire and request an open window. The way we throw ourselves at love like a brick house. And laugh at our concussion.

Falling in love after trauma is a kindling ship. I ask my reflection how many days it’s been since, and she says I’m lucky it’s been one at all. Who is this woman with her sad lingerie wilting from the tip of her breasts, who calls into the gloaming for a lover— like a starling, unable to hunt alone?

I don’t remember that I’m a victim. I don’t remember how I got here. I don’t remember all that I’m supposed to when I’m in love, replaying shame when you cross my mind. Please come over, cross my mind.

Anxious Diva tells me I’ve lost what’s fun about me. She says I’m flatter than death. Diva, help me cut these onions, help me feel arrhythmia, tell me how alive I want to be.

Now the moon is out, the perfect time for a kiss. I lean in and Anxious Diva brings her tongue into my mouth. She tastes my appetite, robust and incredulous. When do you want your cure? I say tomorrow. I say never.

HANNAH KUCHARZAK is a poet and visual artist from Chicago. Her poems have been published in Yes Poetry, TYPO, Pleiades, and elsewhere. She is anthologized in Civil Coping Mechanisms’ A SHADOW MAP: An Anthology by Survivors of Sexual Assault (2017). Kucharzak is a recipient of the Gwendolyn Brooks Award and the Luminarts Award.


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