sporklet 14

Eva Heisler


Shyness is a malady of time—

the seconds needed to reach


toward another—to make

the would-be lover


wait for words.


To take time—

as one takes an aspirin or hand.




Tími er peningar.

Time is money.


Tíminn flýgur.

Time flies.


In Maryland, I was too fine for hackneyed phrases,


but clichés in Iceland are quick



Tíminn verður stuttur.

Time will be short.




Time stutters.




I am silent, like the “b” in debt.




Shyness is a malady of space—


the steps required to transform threshold

into room;


the breath needed to inhabit a pause between words.




I paint my face on the wall.


Til að drepa tímann.

To kill time.




I am silent, like the “t” in rustle.

Eva Heisler is a poet and art historian. She has published two books of poetry: “Reading Emily Dickinson in Icelandic” (Kore Press, 2013) and “Drawing Water” (Noctuary Press, 2013).  Her poems have appeared in many journals, including BOMB, Bellingham Review, Crazyhorse, Indiana Review, Poetry Northwest, and Rhino. Honors include the Poetry Society of America's Emily Dickinson Award and fellowships at MacDowell and the Millay Colony for the Arts.