Once I watched 23 children Swim in a crystal blue pool For maybe the first time. I have seen a lot of nice things in life, like the spread of a city out underneath my palms, head out a window on July nights, boys with dimples I’ve cried my heart for months out over leaving behind I’ve seen first breaths and held hands and felt your car and Eric church underneath me in that magical summer air And I have never seen Anything as beautiful as the color of that sunshine on a little girls laugh As she experiences something as simply Valuable As a Sunday swimming pool.
But the heart has many chambers, please recall. There are atria, vitria, valves and electrical wiring all leading through passages festooned with photographs, books, clippings from dreams and memories pinned and taped and annotated cryptically. It’s like the tower room of an ancient professor of humankind. Here an old pipe, there broken shoe, a stack of periodicals long out of print. Only she knows whose chew marks the pipe bears, what miles wore the holes in the shoesole, only she recognizes the echoes of names rippling through the fleshy walls.
“At first, heartbreak made me beautiful. My skin fluoresced. I hypnotized trees. The orphans followed me around town, drunk on my pain. I ate only my own hunger, gave off a scent like bitter oranges or chlorine. Loss left me strangely whole, as if my sadness, were it strong enough, could turn your ship around. That was back when I aged. Now, like an astronomer who seeks no first causes, but only to map the connections pinned out over the sea, I want to diagram the light that shines out through the holes you pricked into me.”