They Say It Makes the Heart Grow

Poetry / Abriana Jetté


:: They Say It Makes the Heart Grow ::

Where does desire come from? When my husband
and I come together at night, I swear, I crave nothing.
I am so content to spend hours inside trusting
what he wants to watch on the television, it’s boring.
Others call it happiness. This is marriage, the working
at being bored. Running out of milk and washing floors
and then doing that again. Once more. An occasional walk in
the park, but most of the time, the yearning for something more.

When he and I are together what is there to crave?
It’s when we part that I begin overheating, feel as if I
might stop breathing and don’t want to be saved.
We all have something strange that keeps us high.
I bet we couldn’t change our vices if we tried.
I want my husband most after we say goodbye. 



From the writer


:: Account ::

What pleased me at the end of this poem was its con­nec­tion to Perse­phone. Even when I’m not try­ing, my poet­ry finds a way back to the Queen. Some­thing about her unset­tled nature excites me, or, it excites that voice writ­ing my poems. In my fab­ri­ca­tion, Perse­phone and Hades are rav­en­ous, pas­sion­ate, mad for one anoth­er when they are togeth­er, but when they are apart, well, when they are apart, they are hap­py. When I think about Perse­phone, I think a lot about the ten­sions between hap­pi­ness and desire. How­ev­er, I wasn’t think­ing about Perse­phone when I wrote this son­net. Its ori­gins are much, much more ordinary. 

One, two years ago, a late Mon­day morn­ing in late August, my hus­band takes his time going to work, so the usu­al Mon­day rou­tine is slowed down. I’m antsy to check my email. He wants me to stay in bed. Even­tu­al­ly, he gets up: brush­es his teeth, gets dressed, makes a cup of cof­fee for the road. We kiss good­bye. He shuts the door, lock­ing it, as is his habit. 

The room is silent and large and emp­ty, and I didn’t care what these emails are about any­way. He is gone, so I want him back. 

So I write about it. 

Equal parts ordi­nary and Perse­phone. That’s what accounts for this poem.

Born and raised in Brook­lyn, New York, Abri­ana Jet­té is the edi­tor of the anthol­o­gy series Stay Thirsty Poets, as well as a poet, essay­ist, and edu­ca­tor. Her work has appeared in Plume Poet­ry Jour­nal, The Moth, Riv­er Teeth, Seneca Review, and many oth­er places. Her research inter­ests include cre­ative writ­ing stud­ies and alter­na­tive ped­a­go­gies. She cur­rent­ly teach­es at Kean University.