Mennonite Poetry Home | Robert Martens



the mender of broken hearts

you don't remember me, i'm
the chord's middle note, the
fourth corner of the love
triangle, the raindrop on
the pine across the
river, the lump in your
throat, the knot in your
hair, and just now
a stranger introduced us,
a mob crashed the
mall, cellphones sang the
hour, the boss paid a bonus
to junkfood midnight,
you don't remember me,
i'm meek and mild,
forgotten child, domestic,
roundeyed, i'm the shade
between, neither black nor
white nor conceivable
grey, my bed is oily
twilight, i'm drowsy as
a dinosaur, while you
blog global sunrise, and
trade mornings with a
double click, you can't
remember me, i was born
without a password

the mender of broken hearts avoids words that bend the clock.
his father owned thunder and lightning,
willed him a single match.
the mender of broken hearts walks softly as a housecat stalking a dream.
his mother was a movie star,
taught him the no fat no fame diet.
the mender of broken hearts was born middle-aged.
he wears a silk tie of the shade between,
travels fourth class on a freight train,
speaks only in clichés to elude attention.
he carries his affection for you in his back pocket.
he is a god whose time will never come. these
are his 5 laws:
      1. winter shall follow summer.
      2. night shall follow day.
      3. the reverse is equally true.
      4. i retract all of the above.
      5. if you prefer, i could brew the coffee.

  in the littered bottom of earth
shift, where slouch your piston-battered
bones, and summer leaks in, and
winter slumps, and night and day evap-
orate, your hacksaw tongue, gunfire
brain, you never asked for this
you say, your big bang
broken heart

the mender of broken hearts has entered
the room. or, optionally, he has
left the room. he has infinite patience
but no pity. he aligns winter
with summer. he separates night from day.
you yawn. this is boring. boredom
is his greatest gift. you don't
remember me. i don't recognize you.
i'm your reflection. we email each other
from opposite sides of the desk.

© Robert Martens




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