Keep your heart on a leash

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Heart strings

I called Dibs.
Shotgun.
Fives.

I play by childhood rules.

It was just lying on the ground,
still beating like it freshly fell from
Snow White’s chest,
begging to be arrested
for public indecency.
But I’m no police officer.

I saw it slip from your ribs
As you caught the 6 train.
Truthfully, I tried to give it back,
chasing after the subway
until I ran smack into
the end of the platform:
It was no 9 and 3/4.

More truthfully,
I didn’t try too hard.

Even more truthfully,
I secretly hoped
you didn’t notice it went missing.

I claimed your heart for myself
as easily as we did the moon
or United States
by placing a flag
deep into its aching surface.

It was so heavy with baggage
from ghosts of battles past-
like a heavy badge of empty compliments
or tattered letter across your chest
or breakfast of champions
because damn,
do you ever do your cardio-
I had to drag it back with me,
tearing up cement the all the way home.

Strangers stared,
took pictures,
posted them on Instagram.
The broken road was
a trail of bread for you to follow
next time you have a doctor’s appointment
and they cannot find your heartbeat
or you’re trying to dream
but do not have that beating lullaby
to drum you off to sleep.

I’ll keep it safe.
I even wrote my name and address
on the left atrium
in permanent pen
with my best handwriting
in case it goes missing again,
since I didn’t have your contact information.

And all you have to do
to get it back
is guess why
I borrow it in the first place.

4 thoughts on “Keep your heart on a leash

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