the reductionist view of love says that if you have
a heart in your hands you should eat it. he followed
directions and ate it raw, and i had a strange warm
sensation in my chest as i watched him swallow,
a consumption that felt oddly familiar, as if i’d been
through this before, as if my chest were a tree that
kept dropping off hearts to be eaten in a leisurely
manner. we remember ourselves through stories
of desire bitten and lost. i strike a match to burn
the orchard. you mix the ash with tears to make
fertilizer, he says. he shows me how to do it.
but even that will be forgotten. now i plant saplings
in the empty space in the cavity, pray for a good rain.