At night, I take my heart out
and look at it.
I curse it for still loving you.
“What’s wrong with you?!” I ask.
And it just keeps on thumping
in spite of the pain.
“Don’t you know better than to hope?!” I ask.
And it just keeps on beating,
in spite of the disappointment.
“You may as well forget the past!” I insist.
But it just keeps on jumping,
in spite of the misery.
“Fool, don’t you realize you are BROKE?!” I scream.
And it just keeps on bleeding
and dreaming, and praying, and believing
even through the hurting.
Every morning I put it back; back in the hollow of my chest.
“There!” I say to it.
“You’re safely tucked in my breast; and no one
can see that you are broke… if you just be still!
Stop all that racket, skipping with sill notions
and leaping with hopes.
Doggonit! THAT’S what’s wrong with you now!”
(Tomorrow I’m gonna get a new one.
Because this one is just plain broke.) 1999