Like in a classroom film, I see the mass
of blood cells scything through your membranes, parted
like curtains by an ingénue. They pass
onto the main stage; from there some black-hearted
director flicks them, spinning, at my brain.
I smash the cup, and lose my words again.

Every heart, they told me, has a hole—
mine, enlarged by pregnancy and birth,
just more permissive. Meanwhile, hormones stole
the water from my blood. For what it’s worth
this was coincidence: a mini-stroke,
neither God’s justice nor the Devil’s joke.

Still, I wanted you gone. I wouldn’t join
their long term studies, chose to have them worm
a plastic cap toward you from my groin,
key holed into place, and then closed firm.
By now it should be overgrown with tissue,
and don’t think for one moment that I miss you,

but you belonged to me, unlucky flaw.
I had a gorgeous heart, the surgeon said—
more beautiful, I think, for having your
asymmetry. Now plugged and pulsing red,
you’re blameless, while, although I’m going to live,
love still falls through me like a rusty sieve.

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ANNA EVANS was born in England in 1968 and tried several careers including Chemical Engineering, Marketing and Design before her daughters, now aged 11 and 13, were born. She came to the United States with her family in 2000 when her husband was transferred here and they have now been granted citizenship

She is a former President of the Burlington County Poets in New Jersey, and a founder member of the Quick And Dirty Poets. She has been featured at many readings including Modern Metrics in New York, the Café Improv in Princeton, and the Walt Whitman Center in Camden. Her poems have been accepted by numerous print journals including The Harvard ReviewThe Atlanta Review, Rattle and 32 Poems as well as e-zines such as Apple Valley Review.  She won Byline Magazine’s Poetry Award in 2004, and in 2005 the Jeanette Gottlieb Prize for Poetry. In 2005 she won all three Poetry prizes awarded at the Philadelphia Writers Conference, and the Writer’s Digest Award for Best Rhyming Poem. She has been nominated five times for a Pushcart Prize, and in 2005 and 2007 was a finalist in the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award. She has taught Children’s Poetry Workshops for the Burlington County Library summer program, and gained her MFA in Creative Writing from Bennington College. She was awarded the Howard Nemerov Scholarship in poetry to attend the 2009 session of the Sewanee Writers conference, and was approved in 2009 by the NJSCA to join the roster of artists eligible to participate in the Council's residency programs. Recipient of a 2011 Fellowship from the MacDowell Artists' Colony, she currently teaches poetry at West Windsor Art Center. She is Editor of the Raintown Review and former Editor of the formal poetry e-zineThe Barefoot Muse. Her first book manuscript has been three times a finalist in book contests, and her chapbooks Swimming and Selected Sonnets are available from Maverick Duck Press.

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