Friday, December 14, 2018


Pack Your Heart

Pack your heart, wrap it in a dishtowel
and store it in your suitcase,
tucked in the little pouch on the side.

They will not think to look there.

You need to keep it safe
but you need to smuggle it out
past long lines of people hoping
for something more
controlled by people
hoping for something less.

Pack your heart.
Check on it.
Be subtle.
Make sure it still beats occasionally.
Even if the blood has all dried up inside.

Remember if they find it,

they’ll burn it.

If you get through the lines
and the waiting.
If you get through the exam
and the fingers they shove in your mouth,
if you get to the trains
take the northbound ones,
the ones that whistle in the cold night air

like a warning.

The ones that rumble over ice and rock
and the cold clear cut of the horizon.

Take your heart to the icy waters edge.
Watch the waves.
They do not move on their own.
This is important to understand.
They are pulled by a greater force
millions of miles above

This faceless god.
This ruined planet.
It pulls on the water everywhere,
tugging like to much lifting

like so much loving.
It tugs too at the water
inside you.

Take out your heart.
If it still beats, swallow it whole

and know
that while so many didn’t,

you survived. 

--Ally Malinenko 

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