The scallop-diver’s instruction manual for a holey heart

i) Catch the heart in a mended net

Melt the blunt edges of veins over a hot flame,

Then splice and hitch and weave to form valves,

Shape into a cleat or bollard around the upper atria

And filter-feed with oxygenated blood.


ii) Shuck the heart in the palm of your hand

Cradle its flat side. With a sharp knife,

Cut a clean line downwards to hinge open,

Lift the gills and pull out the guts and entrails in one sweep

And slowly remove muscle to taste juicy sweetness.


iii) Return the heart to a sandy seabed

Be careful it doesn’t dry out under a burning sun,

Raise a blue and red warning flag,

Weigh its measure before tossing overboard

And hear the beating 100, 000 times a day deep below.


iv) Regrow the heart like an amputated crab

Lay it gently on its right side,

To avoid boiling in the tidal shifts off Rona,

Let algae bloom surround the vena cava

And see it squat ready for battle.


v) Plug the hole in the heart with love

First, fan out its ridged ribs to gain access,

Notice the many blue eyes shining brightly,

Then hold your own breath

And keep swimming.





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