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Elle Heedles



My high school crush

is putting out fires


in his vineyards. 

It’s too late for that—


the bees have made us 

their enemies. Some poets


still remember the way

things used to be


before we were attractive. 

In photographs,


my yellow bucked teeth

ruin everything. 


There are no songs about me, 

just resonant buzzing


caught in someone’s throat. 

In my head


there are honeybees 

all year round, 


but who will remember

such small ghosts? 


This was my reward

for living, given up


when I took a knee

so I could be romantic. 


I feel sorry for everyone

who married their first 


love, who’ll never know

the fuzzy sadness 


of knowing too much. 
We need to be stopped. 

Gel Pens


To determine a full moon,

look at it from far away.                                 


The ink in my pen is gold

and made of stars and walnuts. 


My doctor says my womb is no good,

and will remove it with vinegar. 


I hope it is fast, like the moon,

and painless. Afterwards, 


I will work a nightshift.

Do you know what this pen


has in common with a Hello Kitty

bandaid? Everything could be better.


I go through one pen a day,

all at once. The hours drive by,


I can’t see a thing, 

and when I touch my face


it’s all over me, new cancer

like pretty girl freckles. 

Elle Heedles was born in Vienna, Austria to American parents, and received a BA in English Literature from the University of Edinburgh. Their poems have appeared in Pain, The Inkwell, the anthology Luminous, defiant, and others, and are forthcoming in the Northwest Review. Their work has been shortlisted for the Lewis Edwards Memorial Prize and the Wrolstad Contemporary Poetry Series. They are currently based in Vienna.

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