The day we removed the cadaver’s heart, tugging it free
from its taproot vessels and lung-lined bed, it filled both hands
with an earthen weight: carnal, and still.

My heart beat wildly, nearby, as I opened it,
directed to trace the map of its valleys
but once inside its chambers, I fell

like a tree, or a fist against the heart of its forest
expanding, contracting, rooted, and rich
with a cohesion of contours no knife could divide.

I replaced the cadaver’s heart. I closed the stiff, wet trunk around it
as if wrapping a gift,
and reached with leaves for the sky.

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