Frank Matagrano


Say heart, say heart on your sleeve, say you become
     a better person every time you leave this room.

Say you once fell asleep in this chair.  Say you dreamt
     the one you loved tried to reach out, and say you spent

half your life trying to call back.  Admit you hated
     the work: start with yourself, start in this space, start

by pulling the curtains back and say heart, say palate,
     say purpose, say pith.  Say you never cried, admit you came

pretty damn close.  Tell it to the crowd, swear to God
     you are telling the truth.  Say there are hundreds like you

who ache.  Say crutch, say cane, say you cannot make it
     go away, admit you never had the strength.  Feel the weight

on your sleeve.  Say heart, say dole into four parts.  Look at it
     under any light.  Say match, say candle, say forty watts.

Frank Matagrano is the author of "I Can Only Go As Fast as the Guy in Front of Me" (Black Lawrence Press, 2005). His poems have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, Rhino, Cimarron Review, Many Mountains Review and Another Chicago Magazine, among others. A chapbook of poems, "There Is Nothing to Love about Los Angeles," was released by Pudding House Publications this year.

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