Paradox

Immensity is within ourselves.
—Bachelard

The heart
cannot be chewed down to wish.
It cannot talk to the ribs or pelvis—
those rock cradles of body
bound by their hard and honest suit
of machine.

The heart cannot speak at all without
metaphor; imagination is rumor
and breath colliding in its dark
avenues, seducing the meat from
its born muteness. The heart is more
than red and pulse, more, even,
than a cell’s want for soul.

So when

the heart takes a name and greets me
on the outside or calls me on the telephone,
I realize I’m not dead yet,
that I can come back from
fading into the body’s
old routine of being alive:

that animal etiquette
when the heart is just a lonely muscle,
and language,

just a tongue not knowing, not even touching,
another tongue.

– Melissa Cundieff-Pexa

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