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Franjola, SL, Notes on the Anatomical Heart


SL Franjola
Age: 15, Grade: 10

School Name: Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, New York, NY
Educator: Joy Franjola

Category: Poetry

Notes on the Anatomical Heart

I am more steel than bone
more mechanical as I drop and shatter
my bones had a habit of twisting
so I replaced them with something inorganic
strange and unclean.

When I replaced my bones
my organs fled to higher ground
my liver became an oil drum
and when you lit matches 
next to my kerosene heart
it grew a layer of metal 
so none of my joints squeak 
but when I bleed 
I bleed the blood of a machine

I knew all the hymns 
sang them clear while my voice was 
heady enough to hit the notes
when my heart became mechanical 
I descended an octave and a half
knew only tongues subaqueous 
my head was underwater
my breath not far behind
my anatomical heart long since hit the bottom.