My Human Heart

Hannah Erskine

Unraveling like fragile thread

Stationary heart, heavy like crystal lead

Barely pulsing to stay alive

Every thread, more than a million

Frays and grays

Once a tapestry of dreams and potential

Sewn with great care and impossible colors

Thorns pierce the stone heart

Creating divots and gaping holes

Every crushed piece aches

With every life-giving beat

Shrinking, burning, darkening

Barely comprehending love

No better than a window pane

Clear to those who see in

But unaware of its own impending doom

I pulled that fatal thread

The one that held me together

The centerpiece

The cornerstone

That essential foundation

My heart is like a dying drum

Its beat resolute but fading

Why am I unraveling?

When I lost my way

I allowed it to break me

Allowed the darkness into my heart

Opened myself to destruction

Welcomed the poison into my system

Poison strong and vigorous

Straight through my veins

Pounding out to every little piece of me

Infecting me, weakening me, changing me

My heart turned black and cracked

A fist of dried out veins

An empty car lot

A ghost town

But that one small piece still glows

Somehow the blood still surges

I can still feel my heartbeat

I can still hear it when all is still

The poison did not kill

It merely maimed

I thought I was beyond repair

I thought my heart would crack

Crack and crumble

Or turn to glass

And shatter when it tried to pulse

Or rip at the seams

And fall in tattered pieces of sinew

But that one vital piece bursts,

Pulses with red life

I can feel hot blood from my crown

To my toes

I feel the poison fighting

Fighting and losing

No longer sudden death

No longer a fighting chance

My heart swells, pressing the poison out

The crust crumbles

The glowing red is still vibrant beneath

The poison may find its way in again

But I am stronger for it

My scars give no pain

Every vibrant drumbeat reminds me

That no poison can destroy my heart

If hope never truly leaves

Some days I lay with poison coursing through

Every vein turning black, and crippling

Others I stand in triumphant red

Hearing the drumming in my ears

The pumping of the blood

The vibrancy I create

The love increasing the volume of my heart

No poison can destroy me

I love my fragile

Strong, empty

Full, broken

Healed, crippled, vibrant

Human heart