The Heart

by nicolecallihan

That which I once named an apple, once,  a piñata, is actually a heart, a three hundred gram, four chambered, hollow muscle. There is heartache, heartbeat, heartblood, heartbound, heartbreak, heartbroke, heartbound. There is, upon eating firecrackers, heartburn. We can take heart, have heart, be heartened. One can be a hearter; it can be heartfelt. I can sit heartfully on the hearth, though I don’t. I can laugh until I cry, which I do. At night, I can feel my heart stop when I wake up afraid that on the other side of the wall my daughters’ hearts have stopped. Take heart, have heart. Be the woman holding her heart. Since the heart as metaphor is perhaps the most painful of all metaphors, you must separate the heart from the heart. It is the opposite of cake: you can have it and eat it too. Eat your heart out. Go on. Do it.