“The Mouth of the Heart”
                        ––St Augustine

Knute Skinner

Reading the saint’s Confessions,

I jotted down these five words.

But now I do not recall

what was on the saint’s mind

when he composed them.


I do recall believing

that the words apply to me.


And I do recall two times when I

gave mouth to my heart,

and each of those times turned out well.

But only for some years.


And I scarcely recall now those numerous times,

times when I gave mouth to my heart

entirely in vain.


Those times do not matter now.


These days, since giving mouth to my heart

for a final, decisive time,

not one of the other times

is worth thinking about.

(The Hong Kong Review, Vol. II, No. 2)


The Hong Kong Review is an international journal of literature, culture and the arts. It is based in Hong Kong and Tianjin.


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