Today's poem is by Hayden Saunier

Performing Heart Repair Surgery at 2 A.M. While Asleep

See, there's no blood.
The skin is a smooth waxy placket

that softly unbuttons.
Your breastbone splits neat

as a squeeze-open coin purse,
which is lucky because your terror of knives,

their cold shine
and quickness, their proof that time travels in only one way

hasn't slammed shut the dream doors
allowing your hands to hold your chest wide

as you sit up in bed
and dump out the small frightened fist

that's your heart
in your lap.

No surprise here.
You remember each scar, every mend, bite, and sizeable

chunk torn away or cut out,
shoveled back, re-attached, re-inflated,

but what makes you gasp
are the tools you've kept stashed, and their weight,

falling out of your chest—pocket knife, pliers,
a glue gun, two shrimp forks, electrical tape,

black and yellow, wire snips, needles and twine—
just in case, just in case, you need them again.

No wonder hearts hammer their hurts at the dark water margins
of sleep—it's the weight of repair over years

and this lightness
you feel once you lift your heart

back into place, seal your bones,
smooth your skin: that's the dream.

Copyright © 2017 Hayden Saunier All rights reserved
from How to Wear This Body
Terrapin Books
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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