I don’t want my old heart back. I’ve thought a great deal about this.
As hearts go, it wasn’t bad. It clocked in every day: tick. Tick. Clock out. Tock. It was sturdy, dependable, reasonably good at reacting when called upon during a run or musical or while petting a dog. I once heard my heartbeat during an EKG. There it was, ka-thump, ka-thump. Steady companion. I had never before heard the sound of my own insides, of that soft soldier muscle, completing its unremarkable task though no one had ever asked it to, though no one would tell it when to stop. What a lonely job, beating away at no one, nothing. Because you’re just built that way.
I have a new one now. It’s a heart-shaped supernova; a big burst of light streaking across a dark ending. It’s not yet fully formed, though I try to bulk it up with little losses here and there. It’s just so hard to give your heart away and trust that it will come back in the same condition. But here’s one thing I know: it won’t. Ever. No matter how big or how little the transaction.
I spent years saving myself up for the right person, the right job, the right resting place — holding my softest parts in reserve for the eventual apocalypse. And then there it was one day, the apocalypse and the high-pitched whistle of the morning after. All that remained after the blast was a long winter and my old tender parts, stored on the top shelves like rations for a new age.