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The Saturday poem: Cleaning Jim Dine’s Heart

by Maura Dooley

In the afternoon sunlight at deCordova sculpture park
she is on the top rung of a pair of steps cleaning a big
dark heart. And it has everything in it, this heart. Twice.
Even the coffee pot I brought back in hand luggage
​that time, when such a thing was exotic, exciting,
more or less unknown. The coffee pot that blew up, in the end,
leaving its mark on the ceiling of Oakmead Road. That one.
Here it is, unthought of, unremembered, treacly, right here
in Jim Dine’s big dark heart, which needs cleaning now,
front and back. Twice. Along with all its other secrets,
writ large, packed tight, here, in sunlight. His histories.
Which are our histories, some of them at least,
hands moving in darkness, worn out shoes, rope,
the hammers and saws of a life together, coffee.
Caught forever here in a heartbeat and wiped clean now,
restored in afternoon sunlight, the darkness shining, made good.

• From Maura Dooley’sThe Silvering(Bloodaxe, £9.95). To order a copy for £7.96 go to bookshop.theguardian.com or call Guardian book service on 0330 333 6846.

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