Heart(less) – HLR

I kept explaining my heart away.
My heart was too heavy to carry and too broken to mend
so I dreamt that that mess of mangled muscle was absent,
no longer a part of me, that it had vanished completely,
leaving me with only a cavernous pit in my chest,
so that I was empty, finally free of misery and memories
and it was a relief. I’d justify its non-existence
with seemingly logical comments like
“No one can break my heart if I haven’t got one”
“It’s impossible hurt the heartless”
“You can’t kill something that’s already dead,”
and these thoughts made the idealistic illusion
that I’d conjured for my own protection
so easy to believe in, so real inside my head.

“What heart? Oh, you mean my heart? Yeah, it’s not actually mine, hasn’t been for ages. Someone stole it / burnt it / broke it / crushed it / served it over ice with a slice of lime.”

“I lost it / left it on the Tube / sold it on ebay / put it out with the recycling / fed it to a hungry stray / silenced it with desire / killed it with cocaine.”

“It fell out of my pocket / his hands / my body / my backpack when I was drunk / sleeping / picking at my cuticles / knitting a new life.”

“It is in the garage, undergoing repairs / on display in a gallery; you can buy it on a postcard for 20p / underneath my mother’s fingernails / probably in my other notebook, the one labelled ‘2015’ / in police custody, awaiting formal interview / might be down the side of the sofa with the loose change & your girlfriend’s hair clips / hanging, in chunks, from the trees in the copse where he stole my virginity, horribly.”

“I actually donated it to charity / gave it to a dead man for safekeeping / drowned it accidentally / lost it in a game of poker / gifted it to science / am not sure I ever had one to begin with.”

“It’s up high in the Tatra mountains / stuck down a Cornish mine / waiting for me on Mexico’s Pacific coastline / buried under the pitch at Highbury / in a discarded brown paper bag down an alley in the 20th arrondissement / at one of my old addresses, most likely 28 / 46 / 2 but you should also try 1 / 4E / 36A / W6D possibly even 1-15 / 24A / 20-11.”

How strange it was when I finally
faced up to the reality
that my heart is very much present
alive and beating, here, inside of me
working hard / playing harder / jumping on the furniture
with the persistence & verve of a child who knows that
they could get away with murder (with a smile)
banging pots & pans with wooden spoons
rattling the bars of its calcium cage
acting like it owns the place
always moving
fighting to keep me alive
as if it’s got no other choice
foxtrotting & quickstepping
as if dancing is all it knows
relentless / determined / wild
as if it’s capable of healing
as if it’s lived here its whole life
as if it’s home, as if it’s whole, as if it’s mine.



HLR is a 20-something-but-closer-to-30 year old writer of creative non-fiction, mainly short prose and poetry. She writes about mental illness, addiction, suicide and grief with brutal honesty and a hint of British droll. She was born and raised in north London and is yet to escape.

Read more at www.treacleheart.com @treacleheartx

4 thoughts on “Heart(less) – HLR

  1. Pingback: Heart(less) – Treacle Heart

  2. Pingback: Sunday best: sleight of hand/mirage – FREE VERSE REVOLUTION

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