Hannah Kucharzak




When the camera closes in     on my tense jaw

the audience winces. When the camera is inserted


into my digestive canal the viewers at home

go back to browse.


I am not an acceptable hit.


I find myself closing

the producer’s door spitting something different

every time.Peer in; how big these tonsils got


—blushing negligee pink. Mesh teddyto cover

my liver bulge.I line my ass up


with my sisters, cheeks side-by-side.


We used to call each other “shotgun shells” with pride.

The casting director asks me to list

what I won’t     do.


The verb to do stripped of achievement, of product.


At every intersection, passersby don’t think

about my face. They don’t question the burns,

just keep licking

their ice cream cones

bemoaning sticky fingers.


I’ve graduated to morning rodent—

unterrifyingly ugly.


When I slip in through the basement door you’ll say

good morning rat

and I’ll draw the water for my bath.


Hannah Kucharzak

HANNAH KUCHARZAK is a poet living in Chicago. She earned a B.A. from Bennington College, and is a recipient of the 2012 Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award. Her poems appear in Ghost Proposal, Pitch & Rail, the Illinois State Library, and elsewhere. She is a web editor for the Poetry Foundation and MAKE Magazine.