a poem a day for a year #22

by Amy Turn Sharp


if only we could be born with a pocket

above our heart

a small tidy pouch

where the operating instructions

the safety information

the detailed primer to the individual heart beat boom love engine

that we own 

was kept

 

and we would grow accustomed to

humankind

sticking their hands down inside of our pockets

reaching in

pulling out

and studying the words

and we would be fine 

reaching inside to show our own words to others

read it to them

memorized hope

 

and it would all take place before

first kisses

before sticky mouth moments

wet wanderings

across the landscape of life

before biology kicked us to dim dull dumb

 

and the folding and the unfolding of the paperwork

and we would be better for it

for all of the knowledge 

all of the grief we could save 

by folding and unfolding the paper

and gently placing it back into each other 

and walking away

when we knew we could not follow the directions

when we knew

we would be the one to break

the other

in 

two

 

but that's not how it goes

the only thing above our hearts 

when we

or others touch there

is drum beats of skin

pounding tremor

pulsing wants

heartbeats that lead you everywhere you 

should not go

but we can't help ourselves

it's how we were made

it's how we were made