Tessa, The Rhythm Of The Beating Heart

You stay absolutely still.
There’s a rhythm, of breathing.
My son said, that’s how you control
your hands, when welding.
That’s how you hold the universe
steady, through your lungs.

And I’m thinking back,
back when he swung a lantern
by the canal, how he seemed to have
overtaken me; he asserting himself
in speech bold and brazen
that I’m struck dumb.

How does one become sacred,
become the space for another,
the bleeding heart humming, keeping up
its interrogations, singing one
anthem, that is breathing,
a rhythm, an amen.

Prompt: Our Fall/Winter 2016/2017 issue’s underway, with postings. The question is, what does your heart know? Whatever it doesn’t know, is it meant to learn? What does it learn? Learning’s an ongoing affair is it not? I think an important thing to learn is one’s life purpose. What is the thing that keeps you breathing? That you give, keep on giving? Do you give? What is your oxygen? Here’s one answer. What’s yours?

“I will have poetry in my life. And adventure. And love. Love above all. No…not the artful postures of love, not playful and poetical games of love for the amusement of an evening, but love that…overthrows life. Unbiddable, ungovernable–like a riot in the heart, and nothing to be done, come ruin or rapture. Love–like there has never been in a play.”

from Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard, Shakespeare in Love, Screenplay


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