The Heart

Recommendations for the care and feeding of this organ arrive on the hour on alternate Sundays and Thursdays in months beginning with J. There are no ends but beginnings have lost their appeal, so we might as well say that it means no longer what it used to on the steep slope you keep sliding down like a sea lion. I could bring myself to this organ with the benefit of a pocket history of the last millennium if I hadn’t misplaced it in my panties, but precisely this is what makes me so, oh, matronly is the word, if that’s a word. At any rate, my account lapsed long ago. Yes, yes, I know what you’re thinking, here she comes, the old shuck wearing a new hairpiece, orange with bright dots of dementia clinging to it like coral, but the movement of the limpid beast is so beautiful, so prosaic that I can’t help but help myself to another chunk of snow.

Tom Whalen has published poems and prose poems in Chelsea, Five Fingers Review, Georgia Review, Hotel Amerika, Mississippi Review, New Orleans Review, The Seattle Review, Sentence, The Southern Review, and in several anthologies including Great American Prose Poems and An Introduction to the Prose Poem. His chapbooks of poems and prose poems include Winter Coat (Red Dust, 1998) and Dolls (Caketrain, 2007). He teaches film studies at the Staatliche Akademie der Künste in Stuttgart, Germany.