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is my heart. A stranger

berry there never was,

tartless.

Gone sour in the sun,

in the sunroom or moonroof,

roofless.

No poetry. Plain. No

fresh, special recipe

to bless.

All I’ve ever made

with these hands

and life, less

substance, more rind.

Mostly rim and trim,

meatless

but making much smoke

in the old smokehouse,

no less.

Fatted from the day,

overripe and even

toxic at eve. Nonetheless,

in the end, if you must

know, if I must bend,

waistless,

to that excruciation.

No marvel, no harvest

left me speechless,

yet I find myself

somehow with heart,

aloneless.

With heart,

fighting fire with fire,

fightless.

That loud hub of us,

meat stub of us, beating us

senseless.

Spectacular in its way,

its way of not seeing,

congealing dayless

but in everydayness.

In that hopeful haunting

(a lesser

way of saying

in darkness) there is

silencelessness

for the pressing question.

Heart, what art you?

War, star, part? Or less:

playing a part, staying apart

from the one who loves,

loveless.

Artless

Brenda Shaughnessy

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