November 24, 2007

Ars Poetica

Sometimes I think of Shelley’s heart,
which was finally buried,
but there was that hour on the beach
when his friends worked, so inexpertly,
to build a funeral pyre:
struggling with the wind
and the wrong kind of kindling,
with the wet exhumation of his body
from the waves;

suffering from the stench,
and the smoke, and the way,
even after his body was consumed by fire,
the horrible sac of the heart still held out,
gorged on heat,
scorching the hand that reached out for it,
refusing to burn.

—Jeanne Wagner

Posted by dwaber at November 24, 2007 02:03 PM