Unknowing

Even horses know they are just horses.
Even gulls know distinction from falling.
Even forests know how to disturb, lose
daughters, permit fields their sudden light.
Even the dog knows I’m leaving.
The door broken from both sides by dust
and lightning. Even I know the worst thing.

Light creeps in. And here: if you stare too
long at unripe fruit, pistil and petal,
photos of lovers before you swarmed
into their bodies waving matchsticks —
what’s to see except the greed and fire
in your own heart, beating against wind,
that unknowing monster we call heart.


Amanda Hartzell received her MFA from Emerson College in Boston. Her writing has appeared in Paper Darts, New Letters, and The Knicknackery, among others. Born in eastern PA, she now lives with her husband, son, and their dog in Seattle.
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