Heartache

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She had used the word like a child in a fairy tale: rattlesnake, bone break, morning wake, milkshake. There are words we use, words we skid along the surface of, words we sway to the rhythm of, that we droop to, that we dance to, but still they are outside of us. We might go a lifetime and know nothing of these words, till we hit them at such impact that we shatter them and pass through, bleeding on the cut glass of their meaning.

And so it was. The heartache hummed in her, turned her lungs to liquid, deepened in her down to the navel up to the throat. It had width, the heartache, it had height and volume. There were days where it might be, say, only three centimeters across and five centimeters high, and other days where it took the entire width of her chest and spread around the sides of her body to her back and clasped hands at her spine, such an embrace of heartache that the therapist, made anxious by her description of the pain, sent her for an EKG to check for cardiac function. And the EKG came back fine, which when she thought about it, was remarkable. For the heart to be fine. And ache so.

 

 

Photo “Broken Glass” by Steven Depolo ; licensed under CC BY 2.0

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