Tessa, What Does Your Heart Know?

This is live theater maybe.
Writing in fall/winter.
A flaring? Girl on a mission?
The words undulant–
what kind of pledge is this?

To be optimistic, that’s all,
having the sun beating down,
and eating watermelon,
eating lobster bisque.
What a majesterial shell.

Prompt: Life is swell. I mean, to be alive, healthy and imbibing the sun. You love life don’t you? Every seven years you’re reinventing yourself and building a new foundation. Have you heard that one? And of course, Blake said, “Energy is eternal delight.” I guess what I’m driving at is that the love of life is at the core of our existence. There is such a thing as existential joy. The opposite is also true: existential despair. The heart knows both to be true. If you didn’t realise it yet, the theme of the Fall/Winter 2016/2017 issue of Red Wolf Journal is “The Heart Knows”. What does yours know?

It seemed the kind of life we wanted.
Wild strawberries and cream in the morning.
Sunlight in every room.
The two of us walking by the sea naked.

Some evenings, however, we found ourselves
Unsure of what comes next.
Like tragic actors in a theater on fire,
With birds circling over our heads,
The dark pines strangely still,
Each rock we stepped on bloodied by the sunset.

We were back on our terrace sipping wine.
Why always this hint of an unhappy ending?
Clouds of almost human appearance
Gathering on the horizon, but the rest lovely
With the air so mild and the sea untroubled.

The night suddenly upon us, a starless night.
You lighting a candle, carrying it naked
Into our bedroom and blowing it out quickly.
The dark pines and grasses strangely still.

Charles Simic, “Clouds Gathering”

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