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When I Feel Heavy - Tara Hiteshew

We were taught oysters have pearls

That starfish are self-healers

That Acacia trees can warn each other of danger

and that you can’t actually die in quicksand

I know this to be as true

as the way sun shows on my skin at 30

Truth moves like tectonic plates through this body that I’m told has high blood pressure lately

Mostly that Hazen Street, is Babylon

Without an olive tree

Sharing psalms because

God says even the darkness is not dark to him


Caged birds don’t sing in 24 hour lock down

and seeing white shirts turn red isn’t actually like Pulp Fiction

You know, I know what red cheeks feel like too

I’ve had a latte with grief

and when I feel heavy I push my belly


In the Atlantic

Let me be an amoeba

The reef whispers, there’s no sharpness here

Choral cries too

and jellyfish move when they’re understood

I tell her me too

Me too

Me too


Tara Hiteshew is a published poet and social worker living in New York City. She writes and performs slam poetry throughout the city, drawing expression from the colorful people she cares for. She was most recently published in ALLARTS through PBS for her poem, "What My Backyard Looks Like," a poem about the correlation between growing up in Sandy Hook, Connecticut and New York City during the Pandemic. She loves words and the way the move on a page.

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Jun 24, 2023

Holy crap!!!! I love this poem so much. I hope to get more from this poet 🥰🥰🥰🥰 one of the best poems I’ve ever read.

Tara Hiteshew
Tara Hiteshew
Jun 24, 2023
Replying to

Thank you so much!❤️

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