by James Lineberger
Look at this, this
petri dish. Here are stem cells
as heart cells. Look. The heart cells
are beating. The cells do not
know the difference. They think they are hearts.
Look at this book of contemporary
poems. See how I flip through them searching.
For what? For the signs of heart
cells beating. Stem cells do not replicate
into irony cells. Irony cells
replicate themselves. Endlessly.
Look at this woman
in the nursing home. Note the light in her
eyes. See the older woman
come in to stand by the bed. Listen as she
sings Amazing Grace. Witness, now,
as the light fades away.
Look, here, how this sunflower
has caught on in a gravel drive
but cannot survive, for it has no nutrients
to sustain it. See how
the flower does not mind. The flower blooms,
as the trunk bends over to die.
Look at this, my ancient body. See the scars.
Some of the scars are gifts
from those I’ve known. Some I got
who had scars enough
See this heart trembling. Touch the wall. Feel how the
blood rushes through
the stent. Put your ear up close. Hear how
it sounds like a waterfall. Listen
to the full voice
singing within of love, love, naught but love.