Heat Wave, Rachel Ikins

can • cer

not an elephant — sickness is the swarm of bees in the room / you want to talk about it but they’re stinging you over and over again so you just try to run / you met brent and you’d been told of the hidden rotting parts but he acted like he couldn’t see them so you forgot they were there / they shot him with a beam of light but all it did was give him a funky haircut / he still greets you with a hug and you never thought you’d compare a man’s hug to a bear’s until you met him / when the gunk starts growing in his brain his mouth forms words he can’t utter / eventually you wear all black and sit on a scratchy chair / strangers on all sides and they’re telling his jokes for him.

About the Author

Adriana Barker · Hope College

Adriana Barker is a Creative Writing and Communication double major at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. She loves both poetry and photography, and has had both published in plain china. Her current obsession is her role as the Co-Editor of Opus Literary & Arts Magazine, where this piece first appeared.

About the Artist

Rachel Ikins · 

Rachael Ikins is an award-winning artist and writer, a 2016 and 2018 Pushcart nominee, CNY Book Award nominee, and a 2018 Independent Book Award winner. She lives with her animal family surrounded by nature, book in hand, happiest with mud on good clothes, gardening, windows open, listening to the wind. This piece first appeared in Persephone’s Daughters.

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