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B.J. Love




Have you felt much of anything lately? I feel

perhaps too much, so much that my heart

regularly skips a beat, skips a beat like a kid

skips a test question hoping to come back

to it later. This does not help my already poor

circulation. Look at all my advertisers

jumping ship. I can no longer promise

steady returns. I can no longer promise

any returns at all. I’ve lived in Texas

for a long time and it breaks my heart. Is

breaking my heart. A broken heart is

the only sure-fire way to know someone

is from Texas. It’s a goddamn regional

delicacy, you should see how proud

we all are. 28 million people cradling

their delicate hearts between their air-filled

lungs knowing that every night will end

the same; the whole family nestled around

the dining room table passing a bottle

of glue over every heart-shard laid in front

of them. “Someday, we will look back

on this and laugh” says the father looking

over the ventricular distribution of his

families’ hearts with growing concern.

There’s been talk that concern is all that

grows here anymore. It was on the front

page of the paper last week when I peeked

to see what the temperature was going

to be today. It’s cold. My hands are cold.

Have you felt it yet? I need something

with feeling. I heard a lady in line

at the grocery store talking about how

important feeling is when piecing

our hearts back together. The feeling

she said, looking right at me, is everything.

BJ Love

B.J. Love teaches creative writing and English at The Emery/Weiner School in Houston, Texas, and is the executive editor of America’s oldest, continuously published literary magazine, Poet Lore. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he has published in Gulf Coast, The North American Review, Stirring: A Literary Collection, The Moon City Review, Hobart and elsewhere.

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