He cut my heart diagonal down the middle
cut the crusts as well
ate one half and left the other for me.
I beat with two-quarters less care—
I think there’s an orange in place of my heart
and he dug his nails to pull back my peel
and broke my slices apart
with the tips of his teeth
and now there is half of me
to love halfheartedly
to wash it all off at the end of the day.
But I’ve read somewhere
that an anatomical hemispherectomy
isn’t all that bad if it happens young
and you have some neuroplasticity
and half a brain can pretty much do
what a whole brain can:
memory, personality, and humor develop normally.
You lose use of the hand opposite
of the hemisphere removed.
If the heart’s the same—I think I’ll be fine—
I think I can dance.
If I have half a field of vision in each eye,
I might overlook some things;
maybe I won’t be able to see
the sadness in the subtle differences
between your smiles
but I think it’ll be a momentary slip for a second
while I try to feel with the empty half.
But if I keep sketching love in tattoo ink
drawing geishas and angel wings and butterflies
across my half
I will learn to love with all the heart that I’ve got.
Sometimes in my room at night
I shake to the sounds of thunder overhead.
But if I step into the dim porch light
and feel the raindrops
and see the sways of leaves shining momentarily
and everything illuminates in a silver sheen
for nothing more than a second—
and I think it’s the most beautiful thing.
The Way Light Moves
Move the way light moves
when you look up and it moves
between the leaves
like sheets of glitter and green.
But light never touches everything
the way darkness does—
the balls of your feet—
the shadow on the small of your back
—light doesn’t touch.
Be the one
to make the darkness beautiful—
touch the places light doesn’t touch—
move the way it moves,
when you move,
the way those shadows are lit
by the movement of light.
If you keep moving—
what is in shadow now,
will shine in light.
Some people are going to treat you like a snow globe
and keep you on a shelf
and take you down only to shake you up
and watch what falls.
So break your glass
and let yourself pour out
and choose not to be so fragile.
Tip over the aquarium they keep you in
and seep into the ground
and grow flowers.
Evaporate into the clouds—
you’ll see more than a plastic house
where the snow is just paint
and the white-coated trees don’t grow or breathe—
let yourself fall in drops
and know you’ll be lifted up again.
One Size Fits Most
We stood shielded by trumpet vines
with orange blossoms
facing the sunset behind the pine trees
of my childhood home—
and no scenery could be more romantic.
But you pull me in
and I pull away
and think of him
and realize I only know my love
by your love.
And he knows his lack of love
by my love.
So I draw on yours for now
and he draws on mine
and we are a chain of those
A vine of flowers and pulled petals:
he loves me,
he loves me not.
We are not shoes with a perfect match—
we are not made in pairs
We are not looking for our other halves.
We wear each other like bracelets—
one size fits most
and carry each other in the links;
a little tighter doesn’t always cut circulation,
a little looser doesn’t always slip off.