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July 08, 2024

Heart Memory

By Cheryl Haimann

You showed my mind no mercy
clawing at it until it was gone
then systematically, efficiently,
took my appetites, my health, my breath
It's safer this way, you said,
as your father's fathers taught you
for longer than their hearts could remember.

My heart you saved for last
because it was the most valuable
because it was my life
and each day took a little more from it
until my lifeblood was salt-crusted and still
until my heart was shriveled,
as arid as my home

full of beautiful things.
"How he must love her!"
No one looks beyond the jewels
to see that the figure dressed in linen,
expressionless, ever perfect,
is empty except for a heart,
and the heart remembers everything.

Article © Cheryl Haimann. All rights reserved.
Published on 2007-04-16
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