Heartbeet

She held out a heart like a cold beet,
skinned & pickled, with two tiny hands
at the end of stems which held a little heart also,
with tiny hands which held another
on and on
through the blunt scene
of hearts hurled blindly down halls, against
rising water, against nail-dotted walls
against computer screens, against chests
sagging-
or slashed up,
against heaving, sweat-slick breasts…

we experienced a love that was new
there was at least that, if not the rest.

Thub-thub, the beet droned and its stammering-
it moved through us like hammering
as our animals lay down beside us, in gardens
or in grass- in a kind of memorial
we imagined their death
in terms of sacrifice & lest we forget
when we should have seen it coming,
seen them faltering & starving
neatly dropping at our feet while we ran on
without them…

not noticing their hearts were beat-
we had been running all this time without them.