Le Coeur (The Heart)

Photo by Hernan Pauccara on Pexels.com

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone! I am not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day, but I wrote this poem several years ago, and every Valentine’s Day thought about positing it. For some reason, it just never came to be until today. Sending everyone out there a hug. Whether your own heart beats strong today or feels a little lost, please note, it’s always there. Sometimes the heart can beat softer, which just means we have to listen for it a bit more. Take care.

Le Coeur (The Heart)

It is really hard to tell where the heart is.
Sometimes it jackhammers throughout the body
And sometimes it is so quiet, it takes but the laziness
Of a dream to find it. It’s hung in elementary classrooms,
One of the first shapes we learn is easy to cut out.
Only to find out years later, it’s not one dimensional.
It’s a house with little rooms and valves that function as fire doors.
It pumps blood to places in our body without command.
It seems to have a mind of it’s own and yet is part of a much bigger
System of organs. The heart gets a lot of power,
For which it does not deserve. For courage to show up,
For butterflies to be released from their chrysalis states to flutter
In your gut, for silences we can no longer hold,
And for nights when we long for what no longer exists.
It’s the heart that never grumbles or boasts about the credit
It does or does not get. It’s presence is notated in the greatest
Books of both science and poetry. We talk about it
As if it’s made of Legos. It breaks and we put it together again.
Sometimes the murmurings of it are so strong,
We stop hearing it. People have this strong need
To want to hear other people’s heartbeats. The syncopation of two
Hearts is known as love. The heart pumps blood,
But if you never knew any science, you’d believe
It’s the hearts job to give and receive love. The location
Of where the heart is, is very secretive. Some days
It shines bright as the sun on a day without a cloud in the sky.
Many days, it’s blocked by clouds. Some, It’s totally eclipsed.
People supposedly ‘give their hearts away,’ and people
‘Take their hearts back.’ Hearts are stolen, forgotten,
Left, consumed, broken, mistrusted, bruised, and given.

They are cradled by desire and swept under the rug
By anxiety. They’re like phones or credit cards,
We misplace them often. When we meet,
We try to ‘know’ another’s heart, but that’s a big feat
Considering the heart has no idea what we do with it often.
While we’re giving it away or ripping it out,
It is ambivalent as it sits in the cavity of our chest,
Circulating blood throughout our bodies. The heart,
Like so many things gets misplaced often. We frantically search
Everywhere wondering, Where could it be?
Most of the times when we lose our hearts,
We find the heart in the most obvious place,
Tucked inside us, all along, quietly beating on,
Throughout the time we assumed it was lost.

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