De Motu Cordis

UM HSL: Anatomy Exhibit

As you can see, here are two hearts. Note
that each heart in its native state
is solid, self-interested; a singular muscle

dense and active, with an innate knowledge
of rhythm’s importance, what it is

that repeats and circles in the body
or mind, spirit, soul, life. It is a muscle
whose purpose and action is to declare

how life itself depends on
bearing in memory the echo

of the moment before. Systolic, diastolic.
The drawing together, the drawing
apart. The beat and shadow beat.

But there is no shadow
heart — simply the real heart,

muscled and quartered as the earth
is quartered; the heart divided
and beating itself; each pulse

driving blood into the roots
and branches of the tree of life. In this way,

the heart comes to signify life,
just as a circle contains and defines
the concept which it represents.

Ah, but the heart is no Venn diagram. Observe
as these hearts move together and begin to overlap.

Where the hearts touch, they open
and clear. Light enters
at that intersection — diffusing,

flooding through the rest of the flesh
until the whole of each heart has become

translucent, glowing like a child’s hand
cupped over a flashlight. You see this
in both hearts joining at that new ventricle.

Now, as they beat, blood and light
move between the two freely

and they can no longer
be separated


This poem was originally written decades ago. I remember dedicating it to a friend for his wedding, and I haven’t talked to them in at least 15 years. I think of this as my Boolean logic poem.


4 responses to “De Motu Cordis

  1. Great wedding poem.

  2. Interesting piece (of course I like the math references). The imagery of hearts working together works for individuals and couples I think.

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