Some People Get Only One Heart

Jaclyn Dwyer

Others are grateful for two, but you took

one then another, smoked it black and set it

on fire. Heart marshmallows and hot dogs,

heart hobo pies filled with jelly and cream.

Your fifth heart you wore like a shoelace,

always untied and tripping over your own two

hearts. Some hearts get stuck to you like gum

in your hair, others leave little pieces flaking

white snow. Hearts in your breakfast cereal. Hearts

on your wool suit. Some hearts you can’t live

without. Others you misplace like your keys.

Come downstairs in the morning ready to leave,

“Honey, have you seen my heart?” What am I

to say? “Have you tried checking your pocket?

Beneath the couch cushions? Between my teeth?”

We walk to the park, one heart shy, past the heart

tree where you brave the bees and ask for a boost.

The best hearts fruit high branches. The worst,

browning, soft and spoiled. I scoop what’s left,

panning for hearts as if they are worth something.

You are already climbing. You are not afraid

of mistakes. You are not afraid of being

alone. Once I confessed I was afraid of my

own heart. You told me to find another

as if hearts are like whale bones and regret,

inviolate and absolute. It is only a heart,

you said. Your heart will grow back, stronger

and thicker and more heart than before.


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