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Tuesday, March 27, 2012


by David Chorlton

When it finally came out
into the light where everyone could see,
it looked less like a heart
and more like
a baseball catcher’s glove
soaked in blood
or a saddlebag, worn and full
of letters soaked
in bile. It didn’t want
to stop beating, but flopped
off the operating table
and onto the floor, where it bounced a few times
before laying down, deflated,
but still with the strength
to crawl away into a corner
the way a wounded animal might do.
The final spasms ended with a hiss
as the last air was released
and when the struggle was over
an acrid smell
rose from the stain
it left on the floor, yet it resembled
thousands that had stopped
before their time,
drawing for a moment the solemnity
reserved for endings. And then
came its replacement, selected for its dark
red and the impenetrable pericardium.
It was a perfect fit: a ruby
pressed into the velvet
where, it has been said, some
people have a soul.

David Chorlton has lived in Arizona since 1978, when he moved from Vienna, Austria. While much of his poetry is about the Southwestern landscape, his newest publication, and first work of fiction, is The Taste of Fog from Rain Mountain Press, reflecting a darker side of Vienna.