Survivor Poetry: ‘Cut Out My Heart’

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I cut out my heart,
leave it on the shelf beside my dresser,
next to a box of necklaces and
a tipped over frame.
I don’t feel like bringing it tonight.

I cut out my heart,
leave it behind and
replace the emptiness
with a painted smile
and pretend I can’t hear it crying-
Calling all night in the breaks
between the laughter,
the moments
when words fall away
and silence seeps in
and I feel the empty hole
in the left side of my chest
and I think about
trying to forget about
missing you.

I cut out my heart,
leave it behind where no one can notice,
where no one can touch it,
where it can’t feel arms wrapped around me
or smell the hint of Old Spice against my skin.
And it can’t see
the way I look into his eyes
pretending that it’s still there, inside.
pretending that I can give it away,
pretending that it already belongs to someone else.

And at night when I go home,
and wash away my smile,
and sit in the silence of my crowded room
staring at the plastic stars stuck on to my ceiling,
It sits waiting at the foot of my bed
like an abandoned puppy
following me around with its tale between its legs
Whimpering
Until I make it leave the room
And lock my door behind it,
pulling the covers over my head
Pretending I can’t hear it scratching at the door and
pressing its nose under the crack
waiting for someone to notice.

I cut out my heart
pretend somehow that it hurts less
to have an empty space
rather than a million shattered pieces,
pretend somehow that it is easier
to feel nothing at all
rather than risking too much
again.

 


January, 2005.

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