Poetry: Lisa Hiton

Lisa Hiton (Poetry 2011) holds an M.F.A. from Boston University and an M.Ed. in Arts in Education from Harvard University.  Her poems have been published or are forthcoming in The Literary Review, The Paris-American, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Linebreak, and The Cortland Review among others.  She has received the Esther B Kahn Scholarship from 24Pearl Street at the Fine Arts Work Center and two nominations for the Pushcart Prize. Her current book manuscript was a semi-finalist for the Brittingham and Felix Pollack Poetry Prize (U-Wisconsin Press).


Like living inside an angiogram, I remember the womb:

blood vessels illumined, eellike, hot to the touch. Moon
child. I can hear my mother, muffled by
all the light and absence — With you

ataxia wobbles my desires—haste to have what my mother had.

I think of these things to tell you when you are asleep:
Little pools of water filled with limbs. The sky is
dull, the sky in excess. I draw rings around your belly.

Sometimes I do things to you because I want you to do them to me.

In the morning, when you are still asleep, I reach my hand
into your mouth, down through your chest, and I turn your heart over.

“Moon Child” was originally published in The Journal.



There is a deep-sea fish with two stones in its head. When you eat it, if
you only find one stone, you’ve killed the fish too soon. You will be
doomed to seven years of bad sex. When you eat the fish, if you find
both stones, run them under cold water with the lemons. At night, make
a fire at the sea’s edge. The stone you throw in the fire will kill the thing
it represents. The stone you throw in the water is the thing you’ll seek all
of your life. What the stones stand for has to do with the fish you ate.
In one case—your case—the stones stand for two horribly obvious
things: love between women and Judaism. You can’t know which stone
is which. You can only know by the fate that comes after. Because
you’re a bad gambler, you won’t sleep tonight. If you shatter them, it will
be up to the wind. If you throw both in the fire, you’ll be a hollow
corpse. If you throw both in the water, you’ll live forever like this. The
day dawns, the bread rises, you were so beautiful, why couldn’t you be

“Afterfeast” was originally published in Anti–.