Can you remember dreaming every night that you were still together, that he was talking to you gently and touching you, so that every morning when you woke up you had to go through it all over again? Nick Hornby, A Long Way Down Marriage is like fruit you hold in your hand, a peach or a tomato. Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips, possessive and faithful as we are, for as long as we are. Its platinum loops shrink to a wedding-ring, if you like. Its scent will cling to your fingers, cling to your knife.Can you remember carving his initials in your arm with a kitchen knife? You hold it in your hand and squeeze it lightly, then squeeze it harder and enjoy it, feeling the elastic resistance as something living, living flesh, a womans hip or breast, and you go on squeezing, not hard, for that is not what you want, but harder; you think of the fruit, and it keeps its shape and substance, although you are squeezing; you must hold it in your hand as something good and living which is to be there until the end of life; you lull yourself into the illusion that it will never burst, and at that moment it bursts. Carol Ann Duffy, Valentine ____________________________________________________________________ Had I known that the heart breaks slowly, dismantling itself into unrecognizable plots of misery, Had I known the heart would leak, slobbering its sap, with a vulgar visibility, into the dressed-up dining rooms of strangers, Had I known that solitude could stifle the breath, loosen the joint, and force the tongue against the palate, Had I known that loneliness could keloid, winding itself around the body in an ominous and beautiful cicatrix, Had I known, yet I would have loved you, your brash and insolent beauty, your heavy comedic face and knowledge of sweet delights, But from a distance.The pain was deeper and harsher than anything I had felt until that day, afflicting every part of me. Thomas, The Bastards Tied Me Down The heart is a muscle like any other and the best exercise you can do for it is called picking yourself up off the floor. Thomas, The Water Flows Uphill I felt a pain somewhere around my heart, like somebody was squeezing it in their hand. Squeezing it till there was nothing left but a handful of needles and sawdust.
(Note: there are some additional heartbreak poems on my Poems page.) We need, in love, to practice only this: letting each other go. You cry and wallow and lament and scratch your way back up through the months. ditto Fear of being alone is not a good reason to stay.
Then lawyers are called in to pick clean the corpses. Erica Jong, ow to Save Your Own Life ____________________________________________________________________ Somewhere a seed falls to the ground That will become a tree That will someday be felled From which thin shafts will be extracted To be made into arrows To be fitted with warheads One of which, someday when you least expect it, While a winter sun is shining On a river of ice And you feel farthest from self-pity, Will pierce your shit-filled heart. Anna Akhmatova, You Thought I Was That Type ____________________________________________________________________ Im leaving. If you find yourself in love with a person who eats hearts these things you must do.
Michael Fried, Somewhere a Seed ____________________________________________________________________ They amputated your thighs from my hips. You didnt make me suffer so you neednt expect my hatred. Youre not worth anything as precious as a shred of living flesh. Freeze your heart immediately, Let himnext time he examines your chest find your heart cold flinty and unappetizing.
You try to start again but get into blaming over and over. Andre Segui, How the Bloom Leaves the Rose ____________________________________________________________________ You thought I was that type: that you could forget me, and that Id plead and weep and throw myself under the hooves of a bay mare, or that Id ask the sorcerers for some magic potion made from roots and send you a terrible gift: my precious perfumed handkerchief. I will not grant your cursed soul vicarious tears or a single glance.
Finally you are both worn out, exhausted, hopeless. And I swear to you by the garden of the angels, I swear by the miracle-working ikon, and by the fire and smoke of our nights: I will never come back to you. Anna Swir, Dance of Murder ____________________________________________________________________ Never offer your heart to someone who eats hearts who find heartmeat delicious but not rare who sucks the juices drop by drop and bloody-chinned grins like a God. Your stewed, overseasoned heart consumed he will sop up your grief with bread and send it shuttling from side to side in his mouth like bubblegum.