Studies of an Ox’s Heart, c. 1511–13

After Leonardo da Vinci

1


The long incision. The incipient voyage from aortic arch to thoracic inlet. Small-particled is the corpuscled city. (Bustling opuscula.) A city of animal electricity. A lowing cycling mass. Calm the cowed heart. Still the browbeating heart. Cool the controversial hearthstone. Let the blade intervene where the divine intersects bovinity.



2


Pour wax into the gate of an ox’s heart. Close the small doors of the heart via a template of hardened wax, a 
temple of vital gases, water with grass seed suspension, glass blown through a cast of calcined gypsum, plaster of Santo Spirito. Spiritous dissection, blood-sooty vapors, the dense dance of the Renaissance counts down a Galenic pulse. Musculo vivicare. Transit the venous. Bypass the 
arterial. Underscore the two-part cantus firmus in heat and motion.



(The fixed heart burns slow, spurns fervor.)
More Poems by Sylvia Legris