Canadian Poetry Online top banner link to Canadian Poetry Online home page link to University of Toronto Libraries home page

The Fugitive Heart

Rosemary Sullivan
From:   The Space A Name Makes. Black Moss Press, 1986. p43


Today he brought his heart to us in a black bag.
It looked like an ocharina huddled beside the silver flute,
a fat orange bulb with holes to blow on.
He slipped it out when we weren't looking
and it sat in the corner watching us.

It was wary, his orphan heart, careful of exits,
dreaming of women and kisses.
It wrapped itself around the table leg
and talked of life under bridges
where stray children fucked dogs for food.
A hungry heart with knives in its fingers,
scouring the streets for women to sell.

When you kill and you hear the soft hiss
of life leak from a body,
the heart looks itself in the face.
It sees only a fat sponge
that sucks the air with blood.
"So that's life," he said.

I watched his eyes retreat to the back of his face;
the heart on the table now,
a taut grey sack.
He picked it up delicately
like a blister
and put it back inside his coat.


Rosemary Sullivan's works copyright © to the author.


Canadian Poetry Online bottom banner link to University of Toronto Libraries home page link to Digital Collections home page link to University of Toronto Library catalogue link to Canadian Poetry Online home page link to University of Toronto Libraries home page