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my heart... This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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It is said I have a heart of stone.
Nay, a heart of shattered rocks,
So cold is their habitation.
Yet,
You must not believe so.
If you could see,
If you could know,
If you could fathom
The mysterious depths of my heart,
You could never think thus.

In my heart, beneath the dusky folds –
Which some mistake for shrouds –
Burns the core.
White-hot with passion,
A molten mass,
Trembling with unrequited desire.
It threatens to consume me, yet a mighty hand
Wrenches it,
Squeezes it,
Bends it.
Just when it feels as if it must surely crack,
It is plunged deep into the dark water of doubt.

And yet,
The flame has not died.
It still burns with a yellow fire,
A passion that yet reaches out
Yearning for a touch,
A press of the hand,
The brush of lips,
The fulfillment of the need within.

Again the mighty hand
Pounds it,
Twists it,
Grinds it.
And again it is plunged
Deep into the cold water of sorrow.

Look!
The flame is yet there –
A blast of orange that flickers out madly.
It yearns to be fanned to hotter heights.
It seeks to rid itself of the aching,
Needy, longing void within.
Rebelliously it sends off sparks at a touch.
It strives against its bonds that keep it
From its highest exultation.

Again, and yet again,
The mighty hand
Dashes it,
Cuts it,
Hammers it.
Hard blows crash upon it repeatedly.
The flame still flickers and
A small quiver of red persists.

Unhesitatingly, the mighty hand
Not only plunges,
But forces it
Into the frigid waters of heartache
Where at last,
The mass lies
Still,
Silent,
And gray.

No longer is it a heedless frenzy of sparks.
If you can see,
If you can know,
If you can fathom
The mysterious depths of my heart,
You will find
Hidden beneath the dusky folds,
My true self –

As true and as fine as a Damascus blade,
Impervious to the acid words of others,
Strong against the blows of enemies:
A steel-like core lying
Patiently,
Calmly,
Steadily
Waiting for its intended end
And,
Were you able to hold it,
You'd find it still glows warm,
Ever ready to burst into flames
At the right time.

My heart is far from being made of stone.
But it seems pacifism is the “in” thing.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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