Your Other Heart

By Natalie Shapero b. 1982 Natalie Shapero
Mossy and thumping, bare of logic, red:
             why do they say your other head

                          and not your other heart?

The snack cakes of Smut Wonderland
turn Alice smaller than her dress. She stirs,
nude in the folds of so much baby blue.

             To think, they called this lesser art.

I ate mostly orders then, and you—
you were thinking with your other heart.

I took in a dog the way some might take in
             a dress (I had become just skin).

                          It coughed. I cried for it

to stop, I fed it meat, its malady
recurrent and untreatable. I had
to give it up, like some bum body part

             whose incidental benefit

the human form has out-evolved. Don’t start.
That dog: I called it Help, and I cried for it.

Source: Poetry (July/August 2012).


This poem originally appeared in the July/August 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

July/August 2012
 Natalie  Shapero


Natalie Shapero was born in Chester, Pennsylvania and earned a BA in Writing Seminars from the Johns Hopkins University, an MFA in Poetry from the Ohio State University, and a JD from the University of Chicago. For the 2011-2012 year, Shapero served as the Steven Gey Fellow with Americans United for Separation of Church and State. She is the author of the poetry collection No Object (Saturnalia, 2013), and her writing has . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Disappointment & Failure, The Mind, Love, Desire, Relationships, Pets

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Metaphor

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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