Matthew Dickman – The Mysterious Human Heart

The Mysterious Human Heart
The produce in New York is really just produce, oranges
and cabbage, celery and beets, pomegranates
with their hundred seeds, carrots and honey,
walnuts and thirteen varieties of apples.
On Monday morning I will walk down
to the market with my heart inside me, mysterious,
something I will never get to hold
in my hands, something I will never understand.
Not like the apricots and potatoes, the albino
asparagus wrapped in damp paper towels, their tips
like the spark of a match, the bunches of daisies,    almost more
a weed than a flower, the clementine,
the sausage links and chicken hung
in the window, facing the street where my heart is president
of the Association for Random Desire, a series
of complex yeas and nays,
where I pick up the plantain, the ginger root, the sprig
of cilantro that makes me human, makes me
a citizen with the right to vote, to bear arms, the right
to assemble and fall in love.

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3 Responses to Matthew Dickman – The Mysterious Human Heart

  1. Simone says:

    The part about the speaker never getting to hold his own heart while he observes all the immediate, accessible concreteness around him was a shining moment in the poem. What is more immediate to him than his heart, yet so far from his touch? I also enjoyed how the image of the literal heart makes a subtle transition to metaphor via the last line. Keep writing!

  2. It’s refreshing to read a poem that talks back to me.

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