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His Heart

Caroline Knox
His heart keeps him awake while he's asleep.
He listens to his heart while he falls asleep in bed.
His artificial heart gives him insomnia.
As long as I can hear the sound, I know I'm here.

His heart keeps him alive while he's asleep.
My heart helps me to sleep while I'm alive.
Oh, patient, this Valentine is for you.

I had no choice, I knew that I was dying.
We are trying to survive. We are standing on the shoulders
of the makers of the heart while we lie on our back in bed.
They walk with their hearts on their sleeves and their noses to the grindstone.
He listens to his heart while he falls asleep at night.

Oh, Valentine, this contraption is for you,
device of the sacred, the sacred heart.
It feels heavy to me--it makes a constant whir
which keeps me awake when I'm trying to get to sleep.
It has no heartbeat, only this constant whir.

From He Paves the Road With Iron Bars by Caroline Knox, published by Verse Press. Copyright © 2004 by Caroline Knox. Reprinted by permission of Verse Press. All rights reserved.

From He Paves the Road With Iron Bars by Caroline Knox, published by Verse Press. Copyright © 2004 by Caroline Knox. Reprinted by permission of Verse Press. All rights reserved.

Caroline Knox

by this poet

poem
Long jetty, long shell-racked jetty, cracked warped planks.

Beautiful fish, beautiful sea-bass poached with an August tomato, on an ironstone plate.

A snake's slough, a snake's spinal cord, a dry-rot stump.

A twill tape measure, an audiotape cassette unspooled and puckered, shining.

Agate prayer beads,
poem
I packed up the books: Under
Milk Wood, Of
Mice and Men, Under
the Window, Under
the Volcano, Up
from Slavery, The Thunder-
ing Herd, Under
the Greenwood Tree, The Over-
Coat, The Changing Light at Sandover,
Under-
world, Out
of Africa, Paris Trout;

and I went over
to the Under-
woods' house over
on
poem
Can you imagine
what is true, that 
smack in the middle
of making The Magic
Flute he interrupted
himself to make
“Ave Verum Corpus,”
world’s most truth-telling
motet (Who made its
text?  Maybe a pope),
then got himself on
track, back to TMF
(all the while dealing
with money worry and