Denise Levertov

‘The last heavy fairytale, in which one lays one’s heart
bare before the knife.’

The room is small, the table plain 
white pine well-scrubbed.
the house is deep in the forest.
Each comes alone, but watched,
carefully holding in two hands
that heart which till now
was drumming and drumming away
in its own interior anteroom—
comes to center it, bare and still beating,
on the plain table
in the small room
where the knife will appear, new-sharpened, held