the cold-punched voice of authority,
its corners sharp with unfiled edges:
The human heart in no way resembles
what you see in valentines.
(Those bulbous cardioids drawn to a point,
taut-skinned and tethered, straining
against some secret and enormous weight.)
To observe the approximate size and shape
of your own heart, make a fist.
So: the ventricular base of the thumb.
The digits that echo great vessels.
The whitened atrial knuckles squeezing
—what? Pumping what? Decades dripped
unnoticed from these imperfect seams
before I recognized the absurdity
of judging a heart by the size of a fist.
I never even heard the pop.
They also said it’s what’s inside that matters.
I prise each finger back to look.
(first appeared in volume 8.2 of Harpur Palate)