tenderized hippocampus, or, certain other problems with the structure of your heart



She knew what I meant by heavy
decreased flow to the brain
is not sudden, brief
posture
mainly salt
seems to run in families
or nerves
shutting off
the eyes
fainting
blood pressure drops
reducing circulation
while standing
on the red flags
preceded by a sensation of warmth
of a one-room, auxiliary apartment
our first years of
seven shedding blankets rolled out between
phalaenopsis, bromeliad, and ponytail
bamboos and bonsai, mini, and large sago
 and rubber and banana and ferns
 umbrella and dieffenbachia and spider, peace lily
                                                          and living stones, sedum, tiger’s jaws,
jade and clover, clover, clover

~


I folded
into the fair trade abalone wedding rings I found for $10
the 31-string harp I stopped playing
but had to move every time to use the mini-stove, mini-fridge
the shower so small I had to do yoga to shave
and my hair was long
long, down to my thighs
and I never left
he didn’t like Forrest or Noah or Desal or Sheba
so brought them to smoke when he was gone
for awhile
nausea
or constant clinched acidic needles corroding burnt stomach
wrote Hegel and Wittgenstein and Heraclitus
Kierkegaard
on the bathroom floor
without light
so he could sleep

~


almost swallowed my tongue
without salt
runaway slaves’ cut tendons
stapled my thumb
House of Wax
stayed too long in the shower
Good Friday, narrated by a doctor
too high
class on female genital mutilation
knives in the dishes
What the fuck’s wrong with you?
I was so happy
I stopped writing
blood not thick enough
lightheadedness and visual grayout
five months after he followed me

~

blood vessels constricted
and breathing
You trusted him.
You did nothing wrong.

severe enough to trigger
a seizure
chronic loss
too soft to hear
salt between fingers
necessary ingredient
in everything
I don’t eat
necessary
and bitter
to have enough
of yourself
disorder
or certain other problems with the structure of your heart
weakness
for taking in too much him
and getting rid of too much carbon dioxide too quickly
for not being a tree
panicked

~

woke up sweating
comfort
the room is moving
without me
but took
my finger pads

~

I learned from animals
from Pit-bulls to rabbits and deer
that heart rates plummet
blood clots pale into granules
in response to predators

~

tender to tenderize
dissociate
even the hippocampus
faints
Don’t force it.
The body remembers.

repress
but
I don’t know
how I’m not there


Amy Jo Trier-Walker is a tree and herb farmer in Indiana and the author of Trembling Ourselves into Trees (Horse Less Press 2015).  Recent work can also be found inNew American Poetry, Forklift, Ohio, Ghost Ocean, Tinderbox Poetry Review, and inter|rupture, among others, and she is the Poetry and Art Editor at Black Tongue Review.