Back to Issue Four.

Making Ethical Creatures



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.