Sunday, 20 March 2016

Sunday Poem

I searched everywhere in the back-
scapes of my life—through the backlogged paperwork,
the back of the topmost cupboard, the backs of old books—
to find my heart. I think I lost it 
this time last year. I’d given up on it all. Allowed
mortality to piggyback onto everything, blowing the roof off what
I’d built. Why try, I thought? And here

the computer exacted an ounce of my heart,
and there a drink in the afternoon took some of it; the lion’s
share was carved up by sleep and meted 
to the various wishes my body made
when I wasn’t around. My heart was scattered. It would be
near impossible to gather it all back. Michelle watched
as I travelled the apartment like a streetcar at night—as vacant
and vulgarly lit.

She hugged me to bed, cupped her life,
her workaday problems around mine and held them aloft. She sung
such elegant music. I searched the back-scapes, 
thinking the shards of my heart would have dumbly
fallen somewhere. I tried to find it, actually, because
there have been a few deaths around me recently
and I could really use my heart. I did find it, too. Quite 
by accident. I’d given up on getting it back, when I crawled
into bed and Michelle flung a half-asleep arm
around me. And there it was, gathered. I have to give
the little bastard credit, my heart, it knows how to get home.

By Vincent Colistro, from Late Victorians (Signal Editions, 2016) 

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