Monday, October 23, 2006

A Dark Fable

One of the most infuriating things about The Ex (one of the many infuriating things about her... maybe I should call her The Vex?) is her complete refusal or inability to discuss her feelings. The only explanation she ever offered for her abrupt breaking up with me (not so much an 'explanation' as a declaration that the matter was not open for discussion, ever) was the cryptic claim, "I know my own heart." Rarely in human history can anyone ever have said something more palpably untrue. I'm not sure that any of us really understands our heart that well - but she least of all!

Anyway, these reflections did give rise to the following little frippery (something that I felt, or I hoped, was perhaps a little in the style of the Mersey Poets):

The Heart Inspection

"Your hearts have been removed
For a routine inspection.
Do not be alarmed: it is perfectly safe.
You can live for many years
Without your heart;
And this is a sterile environment.
After grading and certification,
Your hearts will be returned to you.
Please go to the Collection Room on the ground floor
This afternoon to recover your hearts

This is where the problem starts:
We thought we would know our own hearts
When we saw them bare, on a steel table;
Would recognise the faults and fears that move us;
Would see – this one swollen by pride,
That one withered from disuse;
This one sooted with cigarettes,
That one scarred by disappointments.

But no – all the hearts look the same:
Each opaque, unknowable;
Their histories hidden even from their owners
(From their owners most of all).

There is a brief surge of panic
In the Collection Room – but then we realise:
One heart is as good as another.
We each take whichever comes to hand.

Still, there is a scramble.
Somehow there are not enough to go round:
The young girl beside me is left without a heart.

Sensing she is about to cry,
I offer her mine.

No comments: