Vox Populi: A Public Sphere for Politics and Poetry
Tonight, inside my body, the blood races through veins,
passing in its circuit a piece of chicken wire. Calling it something
homely gives me all the power over the stent I’m ever going to have:
thus does woman return to Eden and name the world. But tonight,
I’m not a woman, just a body whose heart’s still beating.
I could be elk, frog, house cat, spawning salmon. A raptor
sailing above its next morsel. I could be the morsel.
My friend whose chest was cracked years ago is still astonished
that you can’t feel anything with your heart. There’s no sensation,
only the blind clenching and unclenching.
I’ll tell you what scares me most: how fast it beats.
Tonight, the last birds scatter goodbyes across the lawn.
The sky’s that nearly sherbet color I can’t match with paint.
Life is full of minor disappointments. Failures of skill, failures of wit,
of luck. That the heart can’t feel a thing is pretty funny —
love being only in our minds, after all. Tonight, the light will drain
from air the way it always does and then the blue hour descend
and then full dark. I’m still as brave as I was before the careful
insertion of chicken wire: not more, not less. Probably,
like my father, and his father — with or without salt, soy, butter,
egg yolks, exercise, and wonder — I will live as long as I live.
Not a moment longer.
Copyright 2010 Molly Fisk. From The More Difficult Beauty by Molly Fisk
Angiogram of a healthy heart