the first twenty times your heart gets broken

December 9, 2013

Cranach the Elder, The Good Thief, 1501-02the first twenty times your heart gets broken

it feels as if you will die

and then even worse than the pain

feels the fact that you haven’t died

and are still living


broken in bits

but after number twenty

or perhaps twenty one

or twenty two

around there somewhere

you become accustomed to the rhythm

the break, the bleed, the mess,

the seizing up, the sting, the raw,

the wound, the weep, the scab:

the numb,

and if you are lucky

the heal.

and it becomes painfully yet manageably familiar.

you know what to do

what to expect

you know you won’t bleed out completely

you know your blood isn’t that thin

it is ironically strong and thick with love

and clots well

doesn’t it just?

but every so often in the next one hundred breaks

there are odd times that the rhythm doesn’t follow

you just plain break

and there you are

open and exposed

jagged edges

out and in

no safe place to lay your hand to hold the pain

no safe place for another to offer a steady hand of comfort

Yet…if you must be so stretched out vulnerable

and pierced

it may be that you look to one side

and there see one

like you

bloodied and broken

heart betrayed, besmeared, bereft

and it may be that you breathe out a prayer

to die

but let it be to die with this one

for he dies alongside

and so in his death and yours

to meet

and in meeting

be met by Love.

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