by Michelle Bonczek Evory


What will they find when they cut you open?
Who will be there when they take back your ribs
and press onward to your heart? Will they see me
kneeling at the edge of your river of blood?
Will there be earlier versions of you? Of us
floating by in a rowboat full of moonlight?
Will they see your mother or your father
or how you imagined they could have been?
Will they be able to see the face of your own
child? Or will they have to cut me open for that?
What if there are stars in your veins? Or goldfish?
Or gold? Will they choose to keep hidden those things
you hide too well? How can they tell?
What if, in a quest for your heart, they find
no heart? Find that someone had already been there
and stolen it? What if it is there and they open it and they see
another heart inside? What if they cut that heart open
and find another heart inside that one? What if the hearts we carry
belong to someone else? Would you want yours back?
What if they told you, after they were done,
upon your waking, that your heart is not a heart
but a star, pulsing and ready to fall? And that pieces of hearts
have been falling like meteors into other hearts
this entire time? Would your heart be cratered like the moon?
Or smooth like a tumbled stone? What if
your heart is a planet where if you look closely
you can see grasslands and wings? Have I told you,
when it is quiet, to the beat of your body,
I hear my own voice singing?

Green Mountains Review

Michelle Bonczek Evory's picture

Michelle Bonczek Evory is the author of The Art of the Nipple (Orange Monkey Publishing, 2013) and the forthcoming Open SUNY Textbook Naming the Unnameable: An Approach to Poetry for New Generations. Her poetry is featured in the 2013 Best New Poets Anthology and has been published in over seventy journals and magazines, including Crazyhorse, cream city review, Green Mountains Review, Orion Magazine, and The Progressive. She holds a PhD from Western Michigan University and MFA from Eastern Washington University, taught most recently at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and mentors poets at The Poet’s Billow (

Last updated April 09, 2015