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Sunday, June 15, 2008

What Love Has Become (Regina McMorris)

She started collecting shards of glass
a year ago: a blue bottle smashed on a sidewalk.
She took five pieces, arranged them in a kind of star
on the white table. Wondered what the bottle used to be--
perfume? vodka? most likely a fancy soda water.

Just the other day, green glass in the parking lot:
beer bottles. She grasped several pieces at once,
careful not to cut herself. In an old silver bucket,

she keeps her shards. She's seen
several bottles she'd like to break, the temptation
grows strong in bars. She imagines

her heart has a clean white scar: once a gaping gash,
as though torn by window glass: jagged
edges of the skin framed the bleeding flesh. Now, of course,
she knows she's healed. She once saw a dog's heart

riddled with heartworms, on a school field trip,
the whole class crammed into the vet's office. A loud thud.
A classmate fainted; his head landed on a scale.

She was so scared then of the potential in everyone,
especially the boy, to fall. She thought nothing
of the heart's disease, nothing of the heart's jar,
nothing of the diseased heart in a jar,
only of the boy falling, his fragile head.

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