February 15th, 2005

Mask

“I will have your heart."

“I will have your heart. Unless...you can offer me something else... What do you have? What can you get?"

I gave my heart to a fickle god to save my village. Now my chest is a crater, a sucking void. My blood is still and starving in my flesh. Liquid is pooling in the meat of my body, blood, mucus, and wine in a cooling stew. Without my heart my vision is a grey tunnel, the world a small spark. Faces are pulp, words are noise, and tears are excretions.

When I had my heart I did not realize I could hear my blood sailing through my body, but now, I am only accompanied by the sound of its absence. The wind rushes through my center, and its hollow echo is the only sound beyond the shrill buzzing of life beyond my skin.

Watching from my head, perched above an empty ivory cage, my flesh rots, but never dies. My heart still lives in a god’s hand; distantly, I can feel his fingers squeeze.

I do not feel the burn of anger, the lush urgings of desire, the hesitation of mercy. I never flinch.

The world has many uses for a man without a heart.
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