The Mended Heart

A poem by Fred Pollack


A new technology allows them
by the thousands to go back and try
to warn their younger selves. But younger selves
are older selves, the classics of
one’s canon, their follies its heroic age.
Trust isn’t the problem: the visitors
bring their own Facebook pages,
instas, etc.; their hosts think
it’s cool to see
what happened to people they never
liked anyway. They don’t quite grasp
the horror of living
in familiar basements, never escaping;
they don’t expect to escape.
Meanwhile, confronting insults they
still use, as well as hallowed liquor cabinets
and amazingly cheap pills,
the visitors find themselves …
Gays get in bed with themselves.
Straights drool for, are revolted by,
or both, later versions
of lovers. Nothing works out.
No one returns. History loops
and stops, or perhaps more accurately
begins to correspond
to lack of historical awareness.