Heart, Hurt

The wounded heart cannot be
healed. Nailed through, it becomes

an icon others worship, kneeling in
awe at the quivering, the heart’s

blood, the real nails. Who keeps
driving the nails? Behind all the

adoration, aren’t we afraid that
one night our hands will forget

the smooth forgiveness of water
and reach for the hammer? One night

the blows will fall on you, on me,
on everyone. The heart will die.

Sometimes reaching for
a hand is like fingering

the stigmata of a dead god.
You hurt. You hope. You hurt.


Published in Harvard Review