Home Is Not One Heart

Not just a crack but a chasm in the floor
Not just a room but a helix of rooms
Not a hall to follow but a hallucination of halls
Nor a load-bearing wall but the Great Wall of China
Not one mountain between us but a range of mountains
Not one sea but generations of seas
Not just the harbor of Harbortown
but the Gulf of Aqaba
Not just bread to share but flour and salt
Not a cold mug but a mortuary of teacups
Not the abdominals but the whole washboard
of muscles or one limb but the weapons of all limbs
Not just a spear but a storeroom
of swords and mallets for your selection
Not one wound to lick but a ward of blisters and sores
Not this mouth to open but a horde of mouths
Not one hand to pray for but a braid of hands
Not just this body but this skin, these nerves
Not one joy but a cauldron of joys, a season
of grief, a year of crossed tides, years of seasons
Not one man but several men bonded in one suit,
a coal blue shirt, a pair of khakis, a complex look
Not one woman but a relief of women, profile
after profile in a continuous silhouette
Or one child, one dog or one song to praise
but a litany of music and children
Or one house, one chamber, one window, one box
Or one fence or pump or an apparition
in the attic, a face in the flames,
Or doubts or deliria or furies to heal,
Wire hangers, shoes lined up in the closet by size.
Not one heart but a riot of hearts.

Jonathan Wells‘ first collection of poems, Train Dance, was published in October 2011 by Four Way Books. His poems have been published in The New Yorker, Alaska Quarterly Review and The Paris Review Daily, among other journals.