My heart is a diner that never closes …

a bar so desperate for customers
it refuses to hire a bouncer.
The jukebox plays only
the heartbreakingest honkytonk
you ever heard. It howls
like a wolf chained behind the trailer.
When I was a child, I believed
every word of The Velveteen Rabbit,
knew if I loved something enough
it would become real, and I’ve been
trying ever since. A friend once warned me,
You have a heart big enough for anything.
It’s true—stray dogs, rhododendrons,
entire mountain skylines. Right now,
the Tantalus Range is expanding
toward my clavicle. Some day
all of the Great Plains will stretch
across my breastplate. Entire galaxies
will fly to the tips of my fingers.
Some day entropy will tame
the cataclysm. Some day, my star
will fall from the sky.

Shaindel Beers is the author of two full-length poetry collections, A Brief History of Time (2009) and The Children’s War and Other Poems (2013), both from Salt Publishing. She is currently the chairperson of the English Department at Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton, Oregon, and serves as Poetry editor of Contrary Magazine. Learn more at .