The Anatomy of the Heart
Linda Hogan

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This is not an attack, as they say. It is a broken heart.
Ask me if you can die from a broken heart
and I will tell you, Yes,
if I could speak that word.
If they ask can you die from broken land
I would also say, Yes.
There is the beating thread of connection
in this place where we have felt our great love
though others have hated our presence
and stolen our land
sent us away
to the streets
and yet how magnificent the world has been
in other places I have seen.

You can understand why your heart could let you down,
would leave you to fall,
would even close itself
where the arteries all meet
like great rivers.
They want to travel
out into the world of the body
with beautiful waters,
to larger seas.

How fragile it all is now
inside this speeding, lighted, screaming
machine, the roadway a path for possibility
for myself who always knew the fragility of the
outer world.
That was what I suffered in the tender organ.
It is the sacrificed in the stories I have never believed
or wanted to hear, oh the beautiful heart, in love,
or forlorn, most vulnerable, most venerable.
It is only broken.
It is only a broken heart,
I want to say.

Image (c) S Donaghy

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