by Jill Klein
after Margaret Atwood’s “Heart“
Everyone buys their thoughts. I buy my mind.
It was either that or a brain.
The easy part is dropping the precious abstraction in.
A wrist twist, like slipping an egg to be poached,
my skull the skillet of water,
but then, whoops! it’s out my ear.
I turn myself completely outside in
like a mailbox catching a letter.
There’s a smooth glissando, the whisper
of robin eggs leaving a nest,
but where is it, the small, dried pale-pink flow
of the now-dead future, broken out of the carton.
It is held tight. It’s sticky. It is picked up,
but spit out. So fine, say many. So bland.
So sweet, say the rest, grinning.
None of them is a seasoned gourmand,
but I sit yelling to myself
in the center, like an old family matriarch,
my caring clumsy foot on the scab
crusting over my hoodie and hair,
boldly, holding in my brain.
Jill Klein has been raising teenagers and volunteering for the past several years, after an earlier career as a commercial banker. She grew up in Kansas and the Pacific Northwest, then moved to California to go to college (sight unseen). She loves the lack of rain in Silicon Valley, babying her bougainvillea, and hiking until it hurts. She has poems published, or forthcoming, in San Pedro River Review, Grey Sparrow Journal, Rose & Thorn Journal and The Centrifugal Eye.