What remains in a heart that forgets how to beat?

What remains at the edge of defeat,
in tangerine rinds curling dry upon sills,
in the scribbles and stains between crinkled linens,
in the blots and erasures of a thousand revisions,

in graphite that gleams and reveals
phrases we all know but will not tell ourselves.

And should I count madness in broken mirrors,
till I see something clearer,
or in the terrors and panics and
sleepless musings and passing seconds or
in the broken pieces of thoughts that lose their meanings,

drunk on delusions
who but God could create such illusions?

Drunk on wine and liquor and choices they
slip into darkness and slumber and gray
and relinquish their voices.

We are blind. We are blind, I say,
as blind as the men and women
who stumbled through a labyrinth
towards their fates
eons ago.

If you enjoyed “What Remains in a Heart,” check out some more of my poetry.

All poetry is housed on The Poetry Deck.

You might especially enjoy my poem “Breath.”

Some notes: “What Remains in a Heart” was originally titled “Isabella’s Poem” after a character in my novel Blue and White, since that character was originally a poet. It’s a poem about madness and the futile task all writers and poets face: trying to encapsulate the world’s beauty in words. This is something I’ve personally struggled with as a writer. When I see something beautiful, I’m struck by the difficulty of writing it down, capturing it so that another person could live something and see something that they’ve never lived or seen before. The task of all writers is to render the world as closely and as beautifully as possible on the page. It is and will always remain a difficult and in some ways fruitless task.

I’d love to hear your voice in the comments! Tell me what you think about this poem and its manifesto, or whatever’s on your mind.

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