One Way – Katherine Stansfield

One way

In the morning you will find yourself
inside a human heart. You will be warm,
and notice, with surprise, the purple and the blue.
Not everything is red in the temple
of pump and shunt, squeeze and release.

It will be loud and you will be small –
will have to be, to be there
and alive, your own heart now
flea-sized, grain of sugar-sized, at most.

Once you’re over the shock you will rationalize
and hold your breath
in case such extra air makes
the heart’s rhythm catch
or worse, cause a clamorous
blockage like the clanging
fury of the airlocks you remember
in the old house’s pipes.

By the time you’ve worried all this
you will be dizzy, need to lean against a ventricle
but lightly, in case your tiny nails tear
the walls and drown you in the rush
of this hospitable stranger’s loose blood.

So you will put your hands in your pockets
and that’s when you will find the bus ticket,
tiny too, but your tiny eyes can read
the type and then you will know
how you got there. That once again you
brought this on yourself.


Katherine grew up in Cornwall and now lives in Cardiff. Her poems have appeared in The North, Magma, Poetry Wales, New Welsh Review, The Interpreter’s House, And Other Poems, and Butcher’s Dog. Seren will publish her second collection in 2020.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s