Paper Heart

You’ve taken a page from my book. I’d read it all too often, and the dog-eared corner gave it away. You ripped it from the seam with flawless execution, bringing it to your chest and securing it with salt and gravity.

I slice my hands on your paper heart with every fold as I try to return you to who you once were. This lesson is one I should know cannot be mended with creases. Like the cuts on my fingertips masked with a bandage, a hidden tear still leaves a scar.

The black scrawl has faded into shades of gray, but the intent is as dark as the day the ink flowed from my veins. The words cut deeper than the paper itself; words once meant for you and now for me.

I fold the page into an olive branch, but the thin edges offer no more peace than a razor. And what peace can I offer that in truth would not be written as a lie?

A silver tongue, an unreliable narrator; if only my regret could dissolve the fibers of betrayal woven among the words. My sorrow serves only to soften the page—enough to make folding easier but not enough to undo the harsh lines and heavy joints that have taken permanent residence.

I overlay the corners of your paper heart as my effort bleeds through the margins. Red on shades of gray, it beats to the sound of your shattered trust. You pump the cold words through my hollow shell, shadows of a memoir devoid of love. How often will you reread your heartache, reflecting my own?

You’ve taken a page from my book, but your name now adorns the cover. Our hands are torn and bloody, the page tattered and worn. Who suffered greater in this tale, I dare not question, for history shall read both of our troubles on the faded, crumpled page of this paper heart.

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