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Published: Tue Jul 1 2003
Art by Jin Suk
My Heart is the Smallest Catafalque

I buried everything you gave me
In the orchard.

Then I let the silence
Come on like a good drug.

Already, the gunships loom.
Now the swallows

Come to me in sleep. And a boy
Whispers of Saint Francis and the wolf

He broke. In the sanitarium, some Christian brothers
Come offering solace.

But my heart is the smallest
Catafalque. Always,

I was such a strange sort of
Princess. Hiding in the horseweed with my crosses,

Yellow-haired and feral in the woods.
Now, neither birds nor the sea can save me.

Set me in the field and let the stars
Have their way.

Cynthia Cruz has published poems in numerous literary journals and magazines including AGNI, The Paris Review, Denver Quarterly, and The American Poetry Review. Her first book of poems, Ruin, was published by Alice James Books in 2006. (updated 6/2010)

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