Portrait of heart as gypsum rose

It shores in a southerly
seam of coral

Perhaps it has seen a long
desert stretch and stars cut

into reliquary stillness

It came by post
wrapped in blue paper

and I held it in hands

struck by its integrity

by its corrugated
and steep passes

Just then discerning

my desire
shuts on nothing


Joseph Spece is founding editor and publisher at SHARKPACK Poetry Review and SPR Annual. His public honors in poetry include a Ruth Lilly Fellowship, artist fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the Corrente Prize in Poetry from Columbia University. His first book of poems, Roads (Cherry Grove), appeared in 2013. Spece’s recent and forthcoming publications include: DIAGRAMHypocrite ReaderBerfroisAGNICartridge Lit, and Salamander. He maintains a speculative column on animal being at Noble / Gas Qtrly, and can be found online at: joseph-spece.com.