In My Heart I Rip Them Open

In My Heart I Rip Them Open


It is time to throw out the old magazines.

We are moving,

downsizing, facing up to drear reality.

I must admit, though, that I fail to comprehend the necessity.

Tossing them is like shaving my mustache .

If I stand too long reading my back hurts, I get cramps in my fingers.

But were I to sit my eyes would tear, I’d be miserable.


Oh, maybe this one I’ll keep.

Afterwards my pockets are filled with these ancient collectibles

that must have been Babylonian dumplings.

If I had dug in my back-yard I’d have found scraps, like shards of pottery.

I had been thinking that some day my house

would be a tumulus, a kind of Rosetta Stone,

the accumulated magazines and journals like cuneiform tablets,


but these big black plastic bags sit in the driveway;

In my heart I rip open the draw strings

In that I am like the raccoons

who come at night to explore for trash.

It is with them, not my wife, that I empathize.

She says, “You’ve got to throw away everything,”

and would do it for me.

But she doesn’t know, or rather,

doesn’t want to know, what is important.

So I do it myself.

It is like performing euthanasia, a dreadful responsibility.