I used to think a hole in the heart
could be patched like drywall.

All you had to do was
cut lines of poetry out
of a library worth of chapbooks
and weave them into a mesh.
Place it careful over the hole,
don’t let it bunch up and fold.
Stir up a spackle of music
and nature: rainstorms and Vivaldi,
maybe, or crows and The Crows,
trowel it on thick and layer it
over the sorrow hole,
over the ragged edges
of the leaky wound

and seal your worries in,
seal your fevers in,
seal your rage and your love,
remind a heart
it is the thing that holds it all,
and when you are done

sand it all smooth,
cure it over with a coat
of the most colorful paint
you can find in the art shop,
red if you want to be traditional,
but damn, just go with whatever,
if it strikes your fancy.

That’s all a little wrong, of course:
you heal by days,
just days and days,
but it doesn’t hurt any more
to beauty them up while they pass.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.
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