I’ve lived mostly alone in the bricked-up house of my heart,/but a wind teeters at the door, smelling of skin and apple breath.


There are hearts. And there are hearts.
But that bird with one smaller than
a pencil eraser has worked frenziedly
to whirr and flutter over eager flowers

and tender leaves more than my wary
heart has tried to run out and break
free from its bricked-up gaoler, afraid
that one day I would lose that teetering

shadow at the door, pine for that scent
I run to on evenings like this, to a deep
smell of skin, and to taste his apple breath.
O for an urgent whisper on a whiff of wind!

Would the murmur of wings still be there,
to keep my heart gentle and unshuttered?

—Albert B. Casuga