Heart

A child of, say, six knows you’re not the shape
she’s learned to make by drawing half along a fold,
cutting, then opening. Where do you open?
Where do you carry your dead? There’s no locket
for that—hinged, hanging on a chain that greens
your throat. And the dead inside you, don’t you
hear them breathing? You must have a hole
they can press their gray lips to. If you open—
when you open—will we find them folded inside?
In what shape? I mean what cut shape is made
whole by opening? I mean besides the heart.
 
 
 

Maggie Smith is the author of Weep Up (Tupelo Press, forthcoming 2018); The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison (Tupelo Press 2015); Lamp of the Body (Red Hen Press 2005); and three prizewinning chapbooks. Her poems appear regularly in journals such as The Paris Review, The Southern Review, The Gettysburg Review, Guernica, and Virginia Quarterly Review. The recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ohio Arts Council, and the Sustainable Arts Foundation, Smith is a freelance writer and editor, and she serves as a consulting editor to the Kenyon Review.