Cardiology

Poem By Fernando Pinto do Amaral

The greatest motivation in his life
was perhaps curiosity.

It drove him on: he approached
every woman he met,
but he was only interested in their hearts.

He methodically followed this obsession
and like a child
with its favourite toy
he also wanted to see what was inside,
find out exactly how it worked,
to shred each hope in slow motion,
dissect with almost scientific rigour
each anguish, each unavowable desire,
till he felt the ever fresh taste
in each one of those cells.

After each experiment, he observed
the dismantled hearts
and, not being able to reassemble them,
he gathered them one by one into his breast.
It was a safe place
and holding so many pieces of other lives
pulsating out of step
he could at last believe
that he also had a heart.

Translation by Ana Hudson

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