The Heart Is the Target

by Ellen Bryant Voigt

Ellen Bryant Voigt

Hunger drove you across
the savannah and into the rainy
forest, sweating for prey.
As if this heat were an ally;
as if desire were a weapon.

Now you have reached the densest
vegetation. The path behind you
has closed like a curtain of water.
You have come upwind of your quarry.
The birds, with their passionate
language, announce your arrival.

Flushed by the chase, you lounge
on a viny cushion. Above the belly's
salt-lick, your breasts thrust forward
their wine-soaked centers. You strip
to the waist-a wash of light
against the green canvas. Soon,

in a murmur of branches, a figure
approaches. He sights the white field,
aims for the left breast's two
concentric circles. Then the pull
of the dark, centripetal eye.

Collected Poems

Last updated March 12, 2023