Heart, Let Us Reason Together

–after Donald Justice

Heart, why do you break constantly, like a dripping faucet? Would a plumber be your proper therapist, wrapping you in tape, delicately turning you with a micro wrench? I’m certain this isn’t the case as surgeons haven’t figured you out and they’ve been trying since Asklepios.

I fell down a flight of stairs once. The experience was just like living with you.

A cruel professor told me I couldn’t be in his class because I was too blind. You were no help, you simply shattered, the way you do, like a frozen glass candle stick dropped on the floor.

Denying me an accommodation an employer once told me I wasn’t competitive enough to work for him. You flew into the closed windows like a bird trapped in a barn.

Even now after years of you, with your fickle and extravagant betrayals, I know nothing about you.

I recover. Walk into the lake in April when others won’t swim. I fight for things I can’t achieve.

But often I do it while you’re in a thousand pieces on the floor.

This is my loyalty to you—I persist in honor of your defects, for at least you feel something.

At least you knew enough to wail.