Gristle and Wires

But that was back when we had baskets for hearts,
and our blood leaked out just as fast as we could
wet new willow twigs and try our best to mend them.
A muscle heart is not so easy, how it flops around
unseen, unable to be repaired without a clumsy
cracking of its cage, its carapace of bones.
Basket hearts were less than ideal, it’s true —
but muscle hearts? An entire life based on
gristle and wires? Who thought of this?
Sometimes we think of other hearts —
s bicycle pump, say, or a series of pistons —
but our muscle hearts have mastered us by now,
learned our coughs and all our indecisions.


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