How to photograph the heart

by Christine Klocek-Lim

  How to perceive red

  Consider the persistence of memory,

  how once seen, a red moon lingers

  with a cinnamon tingle.

  Remember the black widow’s

  crimson hourglass in the garage

  behind your cherry-bright bicycle.

  Conjure the blood-lost wrench

  of miscarriage: how the rose-

  leather sofa, too soft for sorrow,

  held the cast of a ruddy sunset.

  Then there’s the leaden weight of rust,

  how the muffler lost its battle with snow

  and salt and dropped unexpectedly

  because the pipes were rotten.

  Your scarlet gloves sponged

  the road’s grime and never washed clean.

  Bleach was not a good idea. Fuschia

  is not your favorite color.

  Recollect the paint of death

  on the ocher mummy, her curled

  fingers stopped over the heart

  with tragic calm. You could

  not bear the quiet and fled

  to the paintings, found Rubens’

  Samson and Delilah.

  There is no forgetting

  the abandon of reason for passion.

  Witness the autumn leaves dropped

  like garnets on the front step,

  how Mars rose in the east at dusk.

  See the cardinal poised on the sill,

  vermilion plumage puffed as thick

  as your son’s maroon scarf

  against your arm.

  Consider the persistence of love,

  how once felt, its coral glow lingers

  in memory’s quiet room, how red

  is the color of the heart.

Table of Contents

i — rain

How to photograph the heart

How spring arrives

The anatomy of birds

Strange violet behind trees


How rain arrives

ii — fragile

How to perceive red



Learning to Speak American

Sweet Bread

The conversation

Into the quiet


iii — beloved

Twenty-year love poem


Naked Tea

Dearly Beloved

How to be forever

My heart beats against the ground

$15 US
Chapbook - 20 poemsChapbooks.html

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The Lives You Touch Publications

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