Fossil Heart

— Barbara Saxton

for Angel

We take hands, move to music
both ancient and new. In the crowd,
many friends, some just known
by the feel of their hands–
smooth as baby bird heads
or calloused as deer hooves;
warm as fresh applesauce,
cold as night stars.

Social media told me that Angel
had died, and I tried to remember:
what did her hands feel like?
Had I hugged her that last time,
or rushed to my car, saying nothing at all?

My heart is a fossil, with imprints
of lovers or friends who once graced
its clay surface. I join in life’s dance,
but my hands sometimes grasp empty air.
My mind reads sheet music with dissonant notes,
and my feet mimic pieces of stone.


One thought on “Fossil Heart

  1. Amazing: friends, “some just known/by the feel of their hands”
    The first stanza shines with beauty and power; the images, culminating in “cold as night stars.” And at the heart of it all, loss. We all have fossil hearts. Just beautiful..

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