Susan Marie La Vallee

My heart will not talk.
I will make it honest.
I will sit it under the hot eye.
Heart! What do you know?
That the sun goes off like a fire bell.
That the sky opens and closes
like elevator doors.
That stars blow on and off
like trick candles.
That night is black and blacker
though you scrub and scrub.
That the angel in the room
is the spelling in the bible.
I do not understand you.
How do you expect to go on living?

Poor heart, you know what you know.
I can not change your history.
I must respect you as a lion
or a maniac with a knife.
But I must open you up
and stick my head inside
your dark breath.
Your rapid gulps of air.
I must because you own me.
And because there is no place
big enough to hide you.

(The Long-Islander)