With hairline fractures and canyon fissures
love cracks open the heart like an egg,
pecked through and broken up and changing
what used to be a solid, gracious orb
into a mess of chipped flakes and gooey yolk and whites
running out and pooling in patches underneath.
Love doesn’t hatch anything
just takes a carton of pearly spheres
and sprays them all over each other
and fries them a little in the sun
until the yellow and white and shell are all baked
together without cleanness, or sterility.
The cracks widened when I said no to a boy;
when I read something my brother wrote;
when I laid my hand on the head of a dog
who breathed in three long yelps
that came out of her throat after her spirit fled.
Love dried and cracked and poured, that day.
When people say that love is beautiful
it’s because once it’s cooked it’s easy;
it’s all it can be and has been
and the widened cracks empty our shells.
I don’t want to be
the only egg
A Long Obedience in the Same Direction
Eugene H. Peterson
The Devil in the White City
Peter A. Pitzele