Back to Issue Four.

Making Ethical Creatures

BY LAURA MADELEINE WISEMAN

 

Lecture: The Heart of a Man 
New York, 1878 


The night begins 
in velvet. A sash 
caresses my curves. 
My hands 

sweep up 
eight hundred eyes. 
In June’s heat 
gas flames pulse 

I say, Look to the heart. 
In Booth’s Theater 
a chart presses 
against the stage. 

Two ribbons label 
my creation: the heart 
of a man, shaped 
like a vulva 

surrounded by down 
clouds and light. 
My voice blazes, 
I have come here 

to make this 
my field of labor: 
the heart 
and what it holds. 

 

 

Laura Madeline Wiseman has a doctorate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she teaches English. She is the author of five chapbooks, including Branding Girls (Finishing Line Press, 2011). Her poetry, prose, and reviews have appeared in Cream City Review, 13th Moon, Prairie Schooner, Margie, Arts & Letters, Nebraska Life, Blackbird, Mississippi Review, South Loop Review, American Short Fiction, Poet Lore, The Fence, The Los Angeles Review, and elsewhere.