I Can’t Draw a Heart

Despertar 3
By Marcus Clayton

Hearts are impossible
to get down on paper. I worry
so much about what right hue
of red should mix into blue
to match the veins connecting
every which way.

It’s hard to capture the elegant
curves of the muscle, curling them
just enough to appear as soft
as tissue looks, to give
the hand permission
to palm the whole thing
like a ripe pear; oozing
with flavor, begging to be bitten
in the rib.

There is this great difficulty
in embracing hearts.
A grip too firm pierces
like nails into vital arteries.
Too loose will explode,
soaking toes and linoleum floors.

It is too easy to dip a brush
into that puddle to smear
such short comings, but
when you let it pump
naturally onto the canvas,
allowing your finger tips to carry
it over and bleed at its own pace,

the heart paints itself,
looking far more real, feeling
far more warm than a hand
wrist deep inside a living chest.
That’s when a pair of scissors will feel
just right to cut out the finished piece
and pin it right on top of your old one—
deflated and in need of a touch up.

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