My finger traces a mystified trail
From his nose across his cheek,
Round the curve of cartilage at the base of his ear,
Down alongside the thick artery in his neck,
To the cavern of his clavicle,
The bridge of his sternum.
In our intimacy I realize
I don't know the names of all the joints
Or all the bones in the roadmap of his body.
From mind, so great, to hands, so strong
To the incomparable sanctity of his chest cavity,
I want to know his anatomy
As I already know his soul.
With my palm flat to the
Firm plate of his pectoral,
I lean in to hear the rhythmic, mystic whisper
Of something vibrating deep.
What I remember of the Tin Man
One after his own heart,
Is the hollow sound,
the metallic echo of Dorothy's knocking.
None of us knew whether the echo was an answer
Or the question, the question, the question
Returning to her fist.
Anatomists would instruct me that the heart
Houses no emotion.
Love does not permeate the ventricles and
Heartbreak does not denote a jagged crack
Running the pulsing length of the muscle,
Increasing in severity with each thump.
But lying here, ear to chest,
I feel myself flush to the rhythm of his heart.
It is speaking to me
By Braille through my fingertips.
My love, my love, my love.
If only the Tin Man had listened more closely.
So, while I suppose I'll take the lesson
For the sake of my own brain,
I cannot say I'll take any of it