NAKED HEARTS - alexandra isacson

“Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee, O Lord”- St. Augustine

She hated the spiraling & fading Italian cypresses that edged the cemetery’s memory. Sometimes, when she drove past, she longed to visit his grave, but hadn't for years. Her boyfriend wanted to meet her there.

Beyond the wrought iron gates & flashing granite, she was light shimmering into heat, & rolled beyond a ritual. Headstones spiked with names blurred & returned to the earth by the wind & the rain. He parked in the shade beneath bursting pomegranates & melting olive trees. Inside his silvered Bentley, they talked about love & death, & she asked to see his gun. He liquored her mouth with opiates & got rough. Frequently, she was afraid of getting arrested with him, & later prayed the rosary. After he drove away, her heels dug into the dirt, while searching for his name lost among the stones.

Meeting again in the early morning mist, they wandered through a labyrinth of crosses & angel wings hidden in the chambers of her naked heart. Her silks fluttered & frayed with sparking crystals, & he carried his Glock in his suit pocket. Finding his name, her poetries & poppies unfurled in a slow, icy burn. Then, he squeezed her breathless, promising he would take care of her first.

Alexandra Isacson

Selected Poems of Anne Sexton