Eleni Sikelianos

Husband Heart Dream

I ate my dead husband’s heart
size of a chicken heart
large for a chicken, small for a man
removing the thin lenticular of glass
from the back
of the heart where it
filter, like a fine
glass film
glass stone such
as you would find as
a nugget of lint in a vacuum catch, lodged
at heartback

the word quoit (“curling stone,” 1388) could describe it

I ate his heart
to keep faith, to keep strong


your glass palate comes loose
“Take that out of your mouth!” says mother
your glass mouth-trap asunder and crumbling in
salt-like shards in the night on your dry, dreaming
tongue for “jihadists” or “viruses” to forage and hoard

                        cover the body with
            a white cloth as
one does to
distinguish the dead
from the living
the face of death
has a glass heart to it, it
synonyms forward in the mouth toward
what in the world we
can’t spit out, but like the world we have
already eaten
what I love.

You do

an etymology of you
your thing

do you if
     check it out, check it out
is you related to yes?
that little tail’s a thorn?
          stabbing into the world, tangling
in orchid roots
You, as in thou, not
    as in thing
One people, they-them, a hem
    Eow (Old English) or Yus (Proto-indo)
These hummingbird-little words      thieving 
fluttering   banging   against the palate with so much heft
            weigh nothing
    holding nearly no history at all


obi wan Kenobi snowglobe on the earlobe
    poetaster to the master

                I’m waiting for trains with children & friends

The I is the binding in this poem
    but you is the glue


My crazy angel and
your crazy angel were talking and laughing
and I didn’t even see.
Blue shadow’s shadow on snow.
Light’s back-lit mirror through empty trees.
Does that give me an excuse for being so
dumb, neglectful, wanting to own everything, smacking
my daughter in my mind, my
blond dead dad only blond
in dreams? Do I
own this death now?
I wanted my angel to be self-
contained, respectable. Ridiculous.
There is a secret line to this poem which
you will have to write me personally
to know.

la joie se produit par une petite compréhension entre cause et effet


un battement d’ailes?

Poet and memoirist Eleni Sikelianos is the author of a number of books, including The California Poem (2004), Body Clock (2008), The Loving Detail of the Living and the Dead (2013), Make Yourself Happy (2017), and What I Knew (2019).  She has authored two hybrid memoirs, The Book of Jon (2004), and You Animal Machine (2014).  She currently lives in Providence, Rhode Island. 

Read next: Poetry by Brandon Brown

Founded in 2020, Three Fold is an independent quarterly based in Detroit that presents exploratory points of view on arts, culture, and society in addition to original works in various media, including visual art, literature, film and the performing arts. We solicit and commission contributions from artists, writers, and activists around the world. Three Fold is a publication of Trinosophes Projects, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

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