We take the same route every day with our Arizona Iced Teas /
jumping into the ditch whenever a truck tears by /setting off
plumes of flying grasshoppers with our flip-flops / honking our
arms like idiots until the trucks honk back. Daisies & Queen Anne’s
lace crown empty dew-soaked soft packs & broken bottles.
The dog finds it first. A silver-blue fist, purpling in the sun.
There is no chalk outline. No red tire marks--
as if body parts just up & wander away from home.
The heart shimmers in the heat, in the wildflowers, still as an unset
I’ve heard time of death is recorded when a heart stops. I’ve heard
a heart can beat for weeks after an animal has died, given the right
conditions. I’ve heard the heart of a doe is nearly identical in size to
a woman’s. If I could hold a woman’s heart in my hands it would be
yours. I hide your heart in the left breast pocket of my denim jacket.
I overhear them talking about it on the police scanner. Volunteers
dredge the west branch of the river, find only mercury, rusted
chain, long-lost timber. Men take dogs deep into the woods to
inspect under the burnt floorboards of the hermit’s camp.
You lie in the tall grass behind a patch of black-eyed Susans, your
left leg obtuse against a rusted-out powder blue VW Bug.
Butterflies court in the goldenrod growing up through the floor.
When I’m close enough to smell the beetles in your hair, I unbutton
your unicorn print blouse with my teeth, & with my fingertips,
gently press the heart back in.