Susan Justiniano

Brief Bio: Susan Justiniano, is the first Puerto Rican and woman Poet Laureate of Jersey City, NJ. In 2006 RescuePoetix™ emerged as a professional artist entrepreneur. As a published performing poet, RescuePoetix™ has over fifty original poems to recorded music, in English and Spanish, and is deeply immersed in a variety of capacities of several arts organizations in New Jersey. In 2021, RescuePoetix placed 4th in the NAMI NJ Dara Axelrod Expressive Arts Poetry Contest and had three poems published in the 2021 Boundless Anthology (Flower Song Press). She is Poet in Residence for Walk_Bye Public Art, Jersey City NJ. Susan serves on the Hudson County Community College Poetry Collective (Jersey City).

Four Chambers

How vigilant the heart when love stains its face!
warrior against pain's tyranny
rebellious and jealous when doubtful

sincerest lover when in lust
sublime with honor when confounded by kindness
one and whole when mated with its likeness

fickle when wronged
forgiving to a fault
endless in its quest of hope

How do four chambers make room
for such awareness, when in their space are
throbbing bits of flesh and rivers of red

How does one mass divide logic and emotion
creating a chaotic symbiosis
where pain felt is disregarded in the face of what could be
in the slight inkling of ‘forever’

Exactly how does a fist sized bit of nothing
Compel an entire being to pursue and pursue and persist
With delightful madness the trigger
To the possibility of falling from a cliff and shattering

By what means does a shattered, beaten and defeated hollowness
Become whole from one moment to the next
Scarred and filled with rhythmic contradiction
Designed to move always forward

In what way does such a weightless vessel of fluid
Become engorged with laughter in the face of despair
Expand to make room for others
And yet, hold it all together

Just how is it that at the center of our innermost selves
Is the start and end of all things, logical and insane
It makes no sense that passion is pushed through
Leaving room for more in the wake of waning light

In what manner does such a zealot
Determine the levels and nuances of love
Each one unique and
recognized by a misshapen muscle

Exactly how does a nub become the focal point of existence
How is it that the heart is all things?
Blossomed from an unsustainable seed

Buried in the only place it can grow
Insatiable in its quest for belonging  

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