or curtains to keep
the incongruous light
from ponding in shotguns’
thimble shells.

The heart does not
have narrow drawers
for storing what cut

but could just as well
be rinsed and put away.

Everything goes into
the unfurnished room,
indulgences, carrion–
one’s own, the world’s.

Into my chamberless
heart with the son

who cannot swim, with
my bounding stupidly
across the pool,
arrested by its medium,

as in dreams where,
arrested by air, I am
unable to run or force
warning from my throat.

Into my chamberless
heart, woman riding
a watermelon-print
stretcher through
pulverized Mariupol–

and, in, quickly, her
unborn boy, son still
swimming in the dark.

Jane Zwart teaches at Calvin University, where she also co-directs the Calvin Center for Faith & Writing. Her poems have appeared in PoetryPloughshares, and TriQuarterly, as well as other journals and magazines.


Photography by: Nick Fewings

The heart does not really have chambers

by Jane Zwart

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