A poem a day in April from Rutgers English PhD students and friends.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Spell for Heart Opening

my sisters and I always called them
study muscles that place where
the shoulders meet the neck rounded
from hard work and big boobs

then there's winter
we huddle up in ourselves
and shivering keeps us warm
like sweating makes us cool

things the body does
without us
shiver sweat
breath heartbeat


In all the yoga classes they were teaching poses for heart opening

In all my dreams there was a pink mist like Judy Chicago's feminist fireworks in Prospect Park this time last year

I took off my pink-tinted sunglasses in the backseat of the convertible on the LA freeway only to see that the world was still pink underneath


How are we supposed to open our hearts
if spring keeps getting snatched away

How am I supposed to open my heart
in the last stretch the only sister left in school

How am I supposed to open my heart
after it stilled and froze down to its silty floor




for the first time
I don't want spring to come

though I know
it never happens all at once

ice floes
crack hiss moan drift

"open your heart"
hackneyed, emptied

and ridiculous
to have to be reminded

but anything can close it off
even a wild devotion


roll your shoulders back and look out the window
of a lamplit house at night
see your reflection stamped upon the sky