Just a Poem

hairline fracture

the ribs are a fragile cage
for the heart’s urgings

beneath its bone skullcap
your hot brain
fires nerves
eyes, brow, hands

tongue, lashings of teeth-
scarred knuckle, muscle
control, those abs
pects, the six-pack

through bruised organs
I hear their music
in my ears and heart’s distal
pulse, your ancient cadence

fists, face, feint

bloodlines, traced
back to the cave
beneath fractured ridges
into the bone


This is for Melissa and her teaspoons, because we need them.

5 thoughts on “Just a Poem

  1. I am gasping for breath over this poem. I have read it at least a dozen times, and it is excellent. First of all, I LOVE the title! Though there is a sadness of tone, the “hairline fracture” gives me a sense of some hope, some healing. A “mendable” hurt. “Through bruised organs/I hear their music” also makes me feel this tone. Wonderful.

    The music in the third and fourth stanzas is gorgeous. Lines like “scarred knuckle, muscle” just sing poetically. I’m trying to contain myself and act mature here, but I can’t. I have to say WOW!!!! FREAKING WOW!!

    LOL…I had to let that out. But I’m not kidding about the wow factor. Those lines made me want to lay down on the floor and cry. Seriously. I really got that much out of them.

    I also love the last line. What a powerful, powerful punch. This is a spectacular poem and deserves to be published…TODAY! Excellent work. Please post more!

  2. Yes, do seek a publisher. This is the kind of poem that could well be parsed in English classes for decades. You start with physiology and relate it to love and emotion, bring in domestic violence (obviously) and male privilege, then the challenge, despite more pain, to overcome what I took as a reference to Plato’s Cave–being dragged to enlightenment. (And Socrates claimed to have learned everything in his philosophy from a woman.) This is rich, rich stuff.

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