Teresa Sutton lives in Poughkeepsie, NY. Her third chapbook won first place in the 2017 Encircle Chapbook Competition and the first poem from the book, “Dementia,” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her first chapbook, They’re Gone, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2012 and her second book, Ossory Wolves, by Dancing Girl Press in 2016.
Hearts can mend their own holes
or bleed out. But even a perforation
of the heart, a medical aberration,
follows the rules of the body’s horizon.
It can force the body to lie down
on soil and listen to all the sounds
its insides make. It can instruct
the body to press an ear
to the ground to hear the clamor
the earth causes. The heart
can watch lakes get sucked
into earth’s porous places
and then disappear, desert pits rage
with fire from below, sinkholes swallow
houses whole. It can observe
earth mend its crusty contours
and study wells filling with sand.
The heart can set each evening
and dip below the body’s gaunt silhouette.
It can eavesdrop at the mouth
of a hole deep enough to hear
the echo of millions of feet shuffling
and the beating of wings.
Same Sad Dress Bop
This same sad dress is so
casual that I can’t always sense
its transgression against my skin.
It drifts over shards of thoughts
I’m supposed to escape
and slices open stories.
In it, I don’t have to be someone
new. Its silk holds the weight
I won’t let go. My closet is full
of other dresses to choose,
but this same sad dress
fits securely—close, almost
binding to preserve old words.
I could retire it, donate it, toss it
into the trash, but it does the trick
every time. I search for other ways
to step away from the boundary
I straddle, but this same sad dress—
it knows other ways of surviving.