Gacela of the Heart in Darkness
do not want a reason for why the heart
changes shape. We like to think of mystery
and believe in destiny instead of handfuls of clay.
do not seek answers for what makes a heart
chant its music in the dark, but we sleep better
when our ear rests against its house.
The heart sits within a lightless trunk of flesh,
blind to the brain with information, unconcerned
for the world of thorns and thistles, flames and blades.
The muscle and vein pull and stretch to morph
into the shape of what consumes it. For some
this is the shape of hate; others contract in love.
The heart rests in its kiln waiting for devotion.
listens to the whistling lungs sing all night long,
rubbing and hugging the walls of the house.
What a surgeon sees, as light first shines on the heart,
before it can reshape itself back to reason,
the face of a lover -- or the face of an enemy.
J. P. Dancing Bearís poems have been published or are
forthcoming in Shenandoah, Poetry International,
New Orleans Review, National Poetry Review,
Poetry East, and many others. He is the editor of the
American Poetry Journal and the host of "Out of Our
Minds" a weekly poetry program on public radio station KKUP.
His latest book of poems is Billy Last Crow (Turning