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Create in Me a Clean Heart

My friend watches chicken embryos form their hearts:
a fleshy sheet folds over into a tube
that partitions into chambers and valves.

He touches them with fine instruments
to find the lines of tension.
After all, we tear where we're supposed to,

and surgeons who know this can find the right
seams for their blades.
If I tear, I ignore it. If heartsore, pretend my torso

is tin-man hollow. When I want a new heart,
I will the organ to pink up,
begin diastole, systole,

ventricular contraction. The muscle's
myocytes need no electricity
to start the cycle, after all.

But each time I attempt a new
variable (him; no, him)
it's just pouring new wine

into an old wineskin, patching a piece
of new fabric onto old
and tearing both. Victor puts another

carton of eggs into the incubator.
Another sheet folds over.
I walk into a bar and sit down at your table.

Lisa Ampleman

I've Been Collecting This to Tell You
The Kent State University Press

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