Winter 2003 • Vol. XXV No. 1 PoetryJanuary 1, 2003 |

Heart

To you, joking, I'd said: You're an actor. Act like you love me. You laughed and turned away into the characters you played, acting like an actor. We were caught in the force field, the imagination's need for analogy, the analogy's need for identity. Identity meant self-rescue by definition though its fierce assumption forged a link, a twinned longing we'd never admitted between us, just below the surface of our lives. Something woke me, night after night—insistent, reverberant—a word finally understood outside conjuncture: heart. Instead of turning to you, breathing next to me in the bed, I put my hand on my own chest, my own pulse. I listened to the hurried beats—thought, afraid, about the moving phrase of light on the wall that I could not, at that time,                        begin to decipher.

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Mayhem

By Carol Muske-Dukes

To you, joking, I'd said: You're an actor. Act like you love me. You laughed and turned away into the characters you played, acting like an actor. We were caught […]

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