To Make a Watercolor Heart

Anna Leahy

Peel layers of thorax. Hand draw.

     Label in ink the variations in

the branches of arteries

     that sprout from my aortic arch.

Any heart thickens with use

     and involuntary murmurs.

That's what humane means. Its curves

     can be traced. In the colors

of comings and goings, red means away.

     Trace its filigrees in brushstrokes:

wet on wet on the dry paper

     of what life offers. It has nothing

to do with light and everything to do

     with growing up, telling it like it is.

When I say my heart is heavy,

     I mean large and willing to stop.

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