The Heart Secretary [Teresa; May]

The Heart Secretary [Teresa; May]
for the Home Secretary, Theresa May
1. The Heart Secretary
On the wall of the Heart Office there is an embroidery
in patriotic colours, faded since 1905
to pink, cream and baby blue. It reads,
It’s a famous phrase, but broken up;
letters apart that should be together,
together that should be apart.
A few metres in front of the work, at a simple desk, sits the Heart Secretary.
She is sorting the beating organs that are her concern, hands stained red with their juices.
Here are two that cling to one another as if seeking to merge into one,
their valves and ventricles becoming inextricable.
They are symbiotic. But the Secretary
coolly assesses their monetary worth;
finds one of them, in this case, lacking -
its mass just shy of the scales -
so sets to with her scalpel, slices through their sinew,
severs them. The first is sent home.
Then she wraps the other heart, still beating, in an application form,
places it with show of care
in a small wooden crate packed with sawdust,
nails it shut, and marks for shipping to a single-occupant apartment
in a foreign city
four thousand miles hence over oceans.

2. Teresa
Santa Teresa is stuck through the heart,
in a moment eternally captured in art:
the angel is thrusting his hot golden spear,
right here, and right here, and again again here.

Bernini has rendered the mystic nun’s marvel
in a chapel in Rome in dramatic white marble
and has captured the rapture in each downcast lid of
our saint, and the sting she’d “not wish to be rid of” -

for Teresa revels in the exquisite pain
as her cherub inflicts it again and again
and she moans and she groans and she gasps and she sings:
“It is love alone that gives worth to all things”.

3. May We married on the 18th, in a vineyard in Nebraska.
Matched cummings to Breton in our vows:
“i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart)” stood next to “My wife whose wrists are matches
Whose fingers are raffles holding the ace of hearts” -
In yellow sun and yellow dress
you looked like Disney’s Belle made flesh.
And you do. You carry and hold that card from my deck, my darling.
But this game was written by a joker,
and the hearts are trumped
by diamonds
every trick.

----------------- Please feel free to share this set of poems, or any part of it, in any place where you feel it might be of interest or meaning to others.


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