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I hoped to confine you in a heart-shaped box, one I deemed a worthy sanctuary,

Not a box, but a house -- unforgiving orchids and silver mounds guard it well, 

Thorns obscure the sight, yet I know you can see right through them, possibly through me,

But if this sanctuary does not constitute your ideal existence, render it into my personal hell.

A bird landed onto this very place’s windowsill, its flight so blithe, constructing spirals in the sky,

The heart’s prisoner, now seeing something distinct from its landscape of death, welcomed the intruder,

The prisoner rambled something about melancholy, fears of unworthiness, face of one about to die

The bird parroted some platitudes and questions it had picked up, discreetly flying higher


It was you who had settled on the cold hearth, while I spoke to ameliorate the silence, the cold,

Thinking myself to have found a friend at last, but doubting such an absurd prospect, I silently questioned 

The bird, no longer willing to entertain my ramblings, retreats into the chimney; who could’ve foretold?

The temperature of this heart-shaped hell drops, but if I light the hearth, then-- I’ll wait a second. 


A second, a minute, a day, a week, a month, two months pass me by before you return;

Kept company by my tears, despite losing nights of sleep, my potential; the cold is strangely warm,

A cardiac scab that I must not let heal as blood is indicative of vitality, and so, must churn

I hear your laughter with others, the banter, and despite your lies, I know you’ve found a swarm.


Drums play, reminiscent to judgement day, taunting my loss of one I considered to be a worthwhile friend, 

I am to be dragged down into this self-made pit of my despair, but I had been waiting for you all along,

When you returned for a few moments, I was ecstatic; a distraction from the inevitable end,

Resentment lingered for your callous actions, and I told you I would never bother you; I was wrong. 

The fireplace is still cold; moths and spiderwebs now nest amongst the ashes; so humanlike,

You always had some matches with you; still, I don’t know if I want to relight this place,

To wish you well, bid you farewell, along with my personal hell, hope and disappointment alike;

This amalgamation of emotion I deem an elixir because it is poison, something I choose to lace. 


Was I waiting for you to return so that I could chastise you for transgressions and hear apologies?

Was I only waiting to question the rationale for why you acted the way you did, and didn’t? 

Was I trying to evade the inevitable elusion by your actions’, your behaviours’ etiologies?

Yes, no, and everything else; my respect for you is-- no matter my attempts to deny-- eternally remittent. 


The skies allowed clouds to scatter and mediate your departure, while for me, possessing only rain;

I complain of the dark and damp suffocation, courtesy of the familiar heart-shaped coffin, 

If I light the fireplace, I could avoid the burial, the drowning-- my hopes I need to shed with the pain;

To cauterise the scab, I stand a few feet next to the fire, one so rejuvenating I may fall in.


Amidst the rain, one finds a place to call their home -- a place to take shelter, maintain homeostasis,

Your absence I should have mourned forevermore, your indifference and relative well-being even more,

It was time that I returned to my heart, despite its dilapidation by all--even myself-- on arbitrary basis,

The reconstruction will take eons, but I will be assured by the hearth I now repossess forevermore. 

Hearth - what is it?

BY Ariana basher


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