an Aotearoa poetry journal | ISSN 2744-3248

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Tarot #07
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Tarot #02
Tarot #01

The Heart Returned

What if the heart were like the brain and earlier
anatomists who’d carved it up had already assigned discrete
territories, all labelled for their different functions —

love, hate, fear, joy, trust and grief; while the less clear
mutables mill and mingle at the borders? I’d look and think:
there’s the section damaged by fire while here’s the part

that beat upwards like a bird, we thought we’d soar
and never return. And this — this was the bit in gravity’s
thrall, poor errant mortal fallen back to earth.

But I think, in truth, you’re more sophisticated than that, more
a hologram that with meticulous care, I could prise apart cell
by cell, to repeatedly find housed in each one

the universe including myself; again, and again infinitely
nested inside myself. And I have to say if that’s the case
it’s hidden well. I’d approached this anatomical sight

with such trepidation, but cut and sealed in this plastic bag,
it’s so ordinary and disconnected from anything I have ever
felt; like something I could mistakenly pull

from the fridge, throw on the flame and offer to myself
for eating. As if I were my own ancient god consuming
myself in return for blessing and meaning.