I Once Wrote A Poem About Hearts And Fishes

by Abner Dormiendo

The heart only remembers what it felt.
So by that logic, it can only remember
What has touched it. A poem,
For example, to which this was fashioned after
Once made my heart feel like a fish taken
Out of the water, then dropped back
Into the fishbowl after some time, only grateful
That it can breathe again, that breathing
Becomes not just a routine, but
A sign that one is alive, unmindful
For once, of the fact that it is trapped
In a prison of glass. I once tried
Writing a poem for you, just to make you feel
Like I did: a fish, the bowl, make you feel air,
Water. But I am afraid of dipping my hands
Into that bowl and taking you out
Of the waters. I was going to show it to you
That night exactly a year ago when we kissed
Inside my car, when the sheet felt like
A thin glass wall, cold and fragile between our skins,
But you opened the car window gasping for air.
The heart only remembers what it felt.
So by that logic, it also remembers
Not only the things that touched it, but also
The things it has touched: the sheets and never your skin,
Your lips but never your heart,
The outer surface of the bowl and never the water inside.

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