skip to Main Content

Steven O. Young Jr.


I wish I could say
my heart is origami,
a masterwork practiced
over centuries, a handcrafted
empire of intricate folds
creased by the wearpolished
femur a wild
stag ran smooth,
that I am built
upon a palace
fashionably purposed,
an engine stented
by a steady stream
of coronary corners
delicate for all
the right reasons,

but what fingers have reached into me
without insufficient grace?

Inarticulate digits knuckleballed
me in a fibrous wad
of pulp and circumstance,
a spiny urchin lacking
lantern. Draw up
what guides you will.
Dotted lines mean
nothing to the maladroit.
Scripted instructions
don’t design dexterity.

It’s useless to accuse
other holds of harm
when working with this
crumpled wrapper masquerading
for a clean sheet, an unemptied
belly exempted memory.
My palms crinkled
and crushed each chamber
before they learned
to channel any blood
beyond my own.
My nails notched through
pericardium, imperfectly mapping
this vapid valentine,
this withered camellia
abandoned by its blush
in the fruitless press to be
flattened and reworked,
ready to depetal
under the carefullest touch.

Back To Top