Saturday, July 21, 2007


My heart is crowded with broken furniture
and cigarette smoke.

It’s a wobbly, spinning top.

A water wheel that fills itself up, rises
to dump its contents, returns
parched to the river
to fill again.

My heart is a river frozen over.
Fish seethe underneath, swim in place.

It’s a custard
carmelized on top
waiting for a spoon to tap.

A kaleidescope—

a lead weight
heavy on my lungs—

a tinderbox
eyeing the matches.

It’s a rowboat in choppy seas
my four grandparents
lost in the fog, arguing
in two languages.

I got drunk one night, fall-down
drunk, and my heart became a cage.
I heard a child’s voice—
my father’s voice—
crying out
lonesome and ashamed.

My heart is true,
remembers everyone and every thing I ever loved.

My heart is false,
leads me into the arms of too many
and not enough.

It retreats into a tortoise shell
scratched and ancient,

swells with hope
its steady rhythm beating
against the surface of my skin.

It runs over with desire
and with love. Touch it
and the palms of your hands
stain red.

My heart is a blind old man
walking down Fourth Avenue
talking to the rain.

My heart is a warbling bird
you hold in your hands.

revised December 9, 2007

No comments: