Consider a Swollen Heart

by Alec Prevett

Not metaphorically swollen           like a person swollen with guilt          envy     love          No
We’re talkin’ a truly    bulgingbeating          thing             A hen              beheaded   body   still
escaping A fawn           in a drainage ditch     balloon belly           of  methane  What  would  it
sound like Footsteps                   in an old house                     A bird trapped inside a taut drum
Knives thrown again                            and again into a tree trunk               Imagine  it  in  your
hand               Did you hear me I said Imagine            a heart in your hand              Yes    it    is
beating           in fact              It is beating        for you          Whatifitstops?           Would    you
help it Curl      your spindly fingers ‘round Squeeze          Squeeze         Squeeze Like juicin’ a
lemon you haven’t      yet       divided           into hemispheres         Would you help a heart get
back on its feet Give it twenty            dollars                      Let it crash on your couch      If     a
swollen heart               were tied to the train tracks             If a swollen heart      and your sister
were dangling                        from a cliff       If a swollen heart               had a snake     bite  on
its ass               If a swollen heart needed        a blood transfusion                         and you were
the only                       viable donor             If a swollen         heart   If                   a swollen  If

Alec Prevett is pursuing an MFA in fiction from Georgia State University. Their work has previously appeared in Booth, Okay Donkey, Every Pigeon, and a few other wonderful places. They live in Atlanta with a chubby cat named Patches. You can read more of Alec’s work at