My Heart Is… 8 Metaphors for my Heart

from a writing prompt on Instagram.

1.) My heart is a harlot. She’s easy and sneaks people in the back ventricle when no one’s looking to play footsie in a bed that isn’t hers. Any time anyone murmurs the word ‘love’, she falls desperately at the sound of the word and surrenders herself completely to the concept of it.

2.) My heart is a playground with a barbed wire fence around her. If you can get through, you can play on all the surfaces, and who knows, you might have the best experience of your life. But it’s a matter of whether you can pass the barbed wire fence test. Many attempt it, but few survive.

3.) My heart is a clay sculpture before she has been fired in a kiln. She is an amorphous blob that doesn’t resemble much, and when people poke her and prod her and misuse her, she’s left with fingerprints of strangers, but none of the fingerprints belong to her.

4.) My heart is shattered glass from all the fights and screaming. She shudders when she remembers her origins, when she remembers she used to be beautiful and complete, because all she knows now is how to be broken and still refract rainbows of light into a sunlit room. The pieces were swept away, and the custodian was going to evacuate the whole structure because the heart was no longer working, but then, he took the heart home with him.

He epoxied the whole thing, and now, she is kintsugi, a work of art that knows well her scars. But she also knows, in the correct loving embrace, she can be beautiful, despite the shattered shards rearranged and stuck on using epoxy.

5.) My heart is the twelve-year-old at the food court with her parents on Friday night, wondering why no one called her to invite her to that sleepover she wanted to go to. My heart is the alternative rock station and the vinyls she played on repeat – like a damned creature howling at the moon. My heart is fragile, but if we paint her with a lacquer so dark, maybe no one will notice her fragility and only see strength.

6.) My heart is the prizefighter that has been knocked down too many times, but she refuses to give up. Her eyes are swollen and bleeding; her nose has ballooned to twice its size; and it looks like she will have to stop, but she keeps on swinging.

7.) My heart is a nomad. Once my heart feels she is settling into a new space too well, she sabotages the efforts. She prefers to think of herself as having wings – some days, she thinks of herself as a butterfly, others, a phoenix. On the bad days, she thinks of herself as Icarus, and she curls her wings in and cries. Wanderlust is a disease that can surely kill you, especially if you’re already wounded past what the gauze wraps can heal.

8.) My heart is paper confetti and papier mache. She is fragments and ripped by the hands of angry people, but as time progresses, she is pasted back together – never to return to what she was. She will not be whole, but she can still be beautiful.

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