Put out the light

He barged back into my life, / demanded my heart.

By Eva Lynch-Comer

He barged back into my life,
demanded my heart.
But I learned my lesson,
stitched my heart into my thigh,
so it would be safe this time.

Give me yours first, I told him.

He unbuttoned his shirt.
I slid my fingers
through his skin
which parted like warm butter,
went up and under his rib cage,
and cupped his beating, fluttering heart.

It pulsed
            in my palm
                        like the tapping
                                                of nails
            on a wooden table,
                                        a rapid knock
                                                                 on a door,
the wool head
                        of a drumstick
                                                                 a bass drum.

It was only when he stirred
that I crushed it.
A brief flame
doused so quick
I did not have time
to watch the light
leave his eyes.

With him gone
I sank down
to the floor
the stitches
from my thigh
one by one,
cradled my heart
in my hands.

Eva Lynch-Comer is a Pushcart Prize-nominated poet currently pursuing her MFA in creative writing at Hollins University. Eva is the author of the chapbook Sonder, which she wrote during her residency with the “Writer by Bus” program in Roanoke. Her work has also appeared or is forthcoming in more than 15 literary magazines including Free Verse Revolution, Honeyguide Literary Magazine, and Capsule Stories.

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