My wings spread, feathers brushing the dust away from the flight path. Goggles down, I cast my gaze ahead and jump. Wind tears at me; a gale. It flurries up, causing my momentum to surge off course. The tick of the second hand on my pocket watch counts the moments I plunge down — the sound a boom, cannon blasts in my head. The updraft catches me in her firm hold, clasping me tight against her bosom, correcting my flight. She deposits me on the take off platform where I started, urging me to try again. We all have to fly by ourselves at some point.
Evening comes – no, midnight –
and the cogs are finally coloured to a shine,
placed inside the casing of my heart
as the rest of my body, weary
from the day’s high, erratic strings
winds down into standby mode.
Tick, whirr, beat.
Tick. Whirr. Beat.
Tick… whirr… beat…
Eyes. Cheeks. Smile.
Magic. Senses. Connection.
Hugs. Pull. Honourable.
Restraint. Crush. Guilt.
Blameless. Free. Release.
Fearful. Clumsy. Awkward.
Warm. Meant. Decisive.
True. True. True.
‘Did someone pull you by the hand?’
‘No,’ I answer. ‘My heart discovered
it was beating a different rhythm
to the one it thought it beat.
It was shocked, angry at itself
and guilty when it discovered that no matter how hard it tried,
it couldn’t find the melody it’d lost.
The new one was too strong,
too wild, too free and
too accepting of itself.’
‘And of the heart
whose rhythm it once matched?’
‘It beats still, sound and capable,
ready to find another
to fall into sync with.
Mild and honest, it will always
be true to its owner.’
You find it on the hearth, a tiny thing,
still a flutter beneath the calcified outer.
The warmth inside has faded to a simple prickle
that decreases every moment.
How did it get there, who cast it aside
to continue on their life without it,
hoping to never feel the pain and uncertainty that love can bring,
while forgetting how their view of everything
becomes just that little bit brighter for it?
You cradle it, unwanted heart,
hold it close to your own so it can share your heat,
build up a rhythm to restore its strength.
You guide it until it can beat on its own
and then let it make its way
back to the world
where it can find that reason to glow again.
Circle the sun: your heart, your head.
Catch the vortex around your neck;
squeeze it, control it.
Ride the motion – you are not trapped,
throw the hoop away if it starts to shackle,
grip it tight and pizza-toss it high.
Don’t be afraid of the spiral,
let the spiral be afraid of you.
I’m handed a ball-shaped mass of paper.
Glitter bows and silver pen all over.
Sometimes the small things that are inside
count more, you say. Unwrap it. You’ll see.
Wire cage under the paper. Hanging
from the top, five metal balls. Newton’s cradle.
Tick, pass centre, tick. Like my heart.
Like your heart. Beats passing back and forth.
Momentary silence between them, but
always an answer in the end.
The heart on a pillow of sunshine
leans across to speak
to the heart under a cover of shade,
wrapped firmly from all light
by woven clouds.
It pumps bold colour down
onto the humid sheets,
tie-dyeing them with rainbows.
The heart under a cover of shade
rolls over. ‘Colour is meaningless
when my eyes only see grey,’ it says.
The heart on the pillow of sunshine
smiles. ‘Then let me show you how
the colours feel, instead.’