Divorce Garter / Halsey Hyer


Divorce Garter

poems by

Halsey Hyer

68 pages, $14 (+ shipping)

Projected Release Date: July/August, 2024

An Advance Sale Discount price of $10 (+ shipping) is available HERE prior to press time. This price is not available anywhere else or by check. The check price is $14/book (which includes shipping & sales tax) and should be sent to: Main Street Rag, 4416 Shea Lane, Mint Hill, NC 28227. 


PLEASE NOTE: Ordering in advance of the release date entitles the buyer to a discount. It does not mean the book will ship before the date posted above and the price only applies to copies ordered through the Main Street Rag Online Bookstore.

Halsey Hyer (they/them) is the of the micro chapbook of micro poems, Everything Becomes Bananas (Rinky Dink Press, 2022) which was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2023, and chapbook, [deadname] (Anhinga Press, 2022) which won the 2022 Rick Campbell Chapbook Prize. Previously an MFA in Creative Writing candidate at Florida International University, they transferred to the MFA in Creative Writing at Chatham University where they were the 2022-2024 Margaret L. Whitford Fellow. Find out more at www.halseyhyer.org.

To read Hyer is to experience life’s unbalanced relationship with other humans, as they at times purposely mistake love for pain. Her poems give pain a heartbeat. ~Bonita Lee Penn


There’s a lot happening in Divorce Garter: burning, fucking, killing, remembering. The burning in this book carries through to the end. It leaves the reader hot; it leaves the reader angry. It causes us to ask ourselves what’s churning in our guts. It’s causing us to ask ourselves if we’ve said enough. ~Kayla Sargeson

Divorce Garter


You’d follow me
home after work
& let air out of me
out of my tires, tired
I tried reaching out to one
of the many you’ve coerced
into abandon of the self
she said it was part of her
life she’d rather just forget.

You’re the man I married
who tortured me across the country
& back.

Who used to cook up
dope with your mom’s Fentanyl patches,
mix in Windex sometimes
to kill women you’d deal to
who fucked you over.

Told me if I fucked you
over, I’d be next.

You called me
to let me know your next victim
is pregnant like I was.
I told you I’m sorry
for her loss.

You called me
to remind me you came
on my toothbrush
& stuffed dog
from childhood.

Pretending I was dead
wasn’t enough.

You wished me happy birthday
& that you wished I was old enough
to go out when we were together
even though I slid by underage.

When I turned twenty
you’d make jokes
about how if I keep living
I’d become too old
for you.

I don’t regret breaking my hand
on your jaw after you called my other rapist.
I busted your tooth then,
& I don’t regret refusing to foot the bill.

I don’t regret burning your clothes.
I don’t regret breaking your guitar
over your flatscreen.
I don’t regret throwing your vinyl
at you like frisbees.

I don’t regret my affair
with my high school sweetheart,
or how instead of his name
he’d be in my phone as
Shelby, Kali, Emeline.

I don’t regret the cover-up
of our matching tattoo, blackout
band around my thigh, the one
I call my divorce garter.



Notes on Burning

after Sonia Sanchez & Sanseria Murray


You cause my fire to dwindle
& I’m striking match after match

my dead leaves under my log peak,
pouring gasoline on embers blown hot

but not caught despite me smoldering
with my desperate breath. Left unsure

if my eyes are open or closed, I wade
through our darkness. This wound

I know this pain is innate like blood
gives me a pulse. This wound circles

my roadkill body, you overhead
plunging for another puncture.

I don’t need to take your shit.
I’ve grown & so has my fire

& I can burn what doesn’t serve me
& burn for what does.



Some Might Say I’m a Killer


in the eyes of the god
I don’t believe in,
in the eyes of the god
I was raised with—

It could be you that says it:
that I’ve killed my baby,

my babies, plural.
This one is my third.

A list of what was (un)wanted—
A list of what I could’ve had but don’t—

a two-year-old
a one-and-a-half-year-old
an eleven-month-old

The not-yet bodies don’t make me
a mother, a killer. I couldn’t

have a baby then. Not with
child, not with you.

Like the childbearing bodies before me,
I did what I had to do. I made my choice—

I locked myself in
the bookstore bathroom
punched my hips

until a constellation burst on my skin—
yellows, blacks, purples, & blues
in the backdrop of my freckled abdomen

until I bled clumps in shades
I didn’t even know were possible—
cherry red, crimson, maroon, & black

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