Rage Hezekiah is a Cave Canem, Ragdale, and MacDowell Fellow who earned her MFA from Emerson College. She is a recipient of the Saint Botolph Emerging Artist Award and she serves as Interviews Editor at The Common. She is the author of Unslakable (Paper Nautilus Press, 2019) and Stray Harbor (Finishing Line Press, 2019). Rage’s poems have appeared in the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day, The Cincinnati Review, The Colorado Review, and many other journals and anthologies. You can find more of her work at ragehezekiah.com.
Portrait Courtesy of the Author
Contour is a lie—a sensitive line. It grieves the separation between the body and the land. It asks the enduring question of illusive space: Are we indeed dissociable and, above all else, manageable? In a series of liberatory poems, Rage Hezekiah’s second collection, Yearn, speaks this boundary aloud by working up to its conscious edge. An anonymous voice agonizes over the invisible barriers to her own autonomy—“a bodily history of you do not/ belong”—through circular turns of youth and adulthood. Rather than a linear coming-of-age—an arch that reckons with a break—Yearn enfolds “everything unmine—/ the abundance I’ve been given.” Here, within visions of Californian bounty, the wound cuts as simply as a dissecting gaze, a schism as plain as “a plastic bar/ between us.” Liberty is just as easy. Like "my pulse, . . . the rivers toward/ their source," Yearn arrives again and again. This is an insistent cycle of resilience that blooms into adulthood all because, "still—/ I am this way: vocal, unafraid."