Sally Bliumis-Dunn


She has painted her lips

hibiscus pink.

The upper lip dips

perfectly in the center


like a Valentine heart.

It makes sense to me —

that the lips,

the open


ah of the mouth

is shaped more like a heart

than the actual human heart.

         I remember the first time I saw it —


veined, and shiny

as the ooze of a snail —

if this were what

we had been taught to draw


how differently we might have

learned to love.



“Heart” is from Talking Underwater (Wind Publications, 2007).