Fall 2021, Volume 31

Poetry by Rachel Rix

Slippery Slope

Adam calls me Hummingbird
as he shoves sugar packets in his pockets,
even though he believes it’s stealing.
Rolls his suitcase out the door.
Waves to a driver without a face
I can see. That’s when I hide
under the covers. “Don’t look,”
he says, when it’s something awful
or dead that might make me sad
on the road or TV or in my mind.
Those are the light green moments I remember
to miss him. Sliding a note
under the bathroom door,
I miss you. Not the times he forgets
to hold the branches back for me
while the altitude is thin and
it’s difficult to breathe. Sometimes
it’s difficult to breathe, or come home.
But he does. He leaves before stopping a missile.
Drags a string across the floor for the cat. Right now,
I’m putting together a puzzle,
even though pieces are missing and
I could swear it’s going to be a picture of night.

Day 33 (Still No Word from You)

I know you’re busy
building bridges. So many lives
you’re responsible for,

but I wanted to tell you

I used a magic jack
for the first time
to call my dad from Japan,

took snap-shots
of maps on the station wall.

I planned to take the late train
to Yokota.

Found out Nina and Julio
have been together
since they were fifteen.

After removing the car seat
so I could fit,

they drove me
back to Kanto Lodge
in the cold and snow.

Told me where I was going
wasn’t safe.

I did a load of laundry.
Tomorrow: Tokyo.




BIO: Rachel Rix received her MFA in Creative writing from Sierra Nevada University. Her poems have been published in Nebo, The Ravens Perch, and forthcoming in WLA. She was shortlisted for the Billy Collins Fish Anthology 2020 poetry contest. Rachel currently lives in Sacramento, CA where she is a CMT. She lives with her husband LTC Adam Rix and their two cats Floppy and Leo.