The Boiler

Amy Marengo

BODY→ATRIUM→VENTRICLE→GILLS→BODY

The ​S-shaped heart in his head
fills his eyes with fresh blood

for as long as he doesn’t stop
swimming. I watch reruns

of laymen and scientists
bickering about how best

to kill him before he chews
an island to pieces, the children—

morsels of the future. I tattooed
his silhouette on my forearm

to show strangers: I’ll bite you,
but I’m misunderstood;

I’m hungry for something else
you sort of resemble, bobbing

on the surface and not at all
out of reach. I watch reruns

of laymen and scientists kissing
loved ones and solid ground

goodbye before searching
whitecaps for his larger­than­average

body—his heart, his heart. His heart:
a poker­face laying down a flush and losing.

______________________

Amy Marengo
received her MFA from Virginia Tech, where she currently teaches first-year writing. She has recent or forthcoming work in Pleiades, Cimarron Review, DIALOGIST, among other journals. For more info on publications and awards, please visit her at amymarengo.com.