by Lacey Smith

I am the owner of a linen heart,
the wrinkled fabric of a passionate quiet,
a word without a definite start,
the blended lines of love and of leaving
far too soon.

I flew my heart from state to state
without a steel cage to protect it.
By the time I fretted, I was too late:
I'd cracked it open like an egg,
and let it vent the musty content,
let it grow stale.

So I wrapped my chest in strings of silk
(as if to strike a feminine pose,
to drain my breasts of all their milk)
to make myself something else entirely,
so that I wouldn't even recognize
my previous self.

But my heart knows better than I seem to,
for it recognizes the years that pass unnoticed,
leans eastward always seeking you,
and brings up images as I lay to rest,
trying to practice forgetting the past,
to blow away the sand.

To cover my ears, or eyes, in vain
is to see your lips behind each blink,
to taste the passion of a slow pain
built of puzzle pieces, of ice and fire,
and never gone from memories,
or might-have-beens.


Author's Note: The title means "Linen Heart." I just wrote this and posted it without revision, so any comments would be quite useful. My writing is a bit rusty, so I'm trying to make a solid effort to do more writing.

Posted on 07/17/2009
Copyright © 2022 Lacey Smith

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Jo Halliday on 07/17/09 at 10:22 AM

I don't have anything to offer but praise for this: the structure is impeccable, and the honesty is evident. It's a real good poem!

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