Heartbeat

I was born five weeks early
With an undeveloped heart
But still, it was beating,
Pumping blood through my veins,
Keeping me alive.

I walked into a classroom
And had a teacher ask me a question
In a language I didn’t know,
Felt my heart race
Just as I started crying.

I told a boy I liked him,
Felt every one of my organs
Jumble together as my heart
Rammed itself up into my throat,
Beating, reliably, dependably.

I learned what it was like
To want to die, to be okay
With falling asleep
And never waking up,
But my heart didn’t care
What I wanted, it had its job,
It would continue to do it.

I’ve felt my heart race with fear,
Pound against my ribcage with desire,
Dance with the butterflies in my stomach,
Work harder and slower when I starved myself,
Rage with the fever pitch of my anger,
And always it kept beating.

Because that’s what hearts do,
That’s what they’re for, their one main goal,
So how fucking dare yours stop beating
In the middle of the night?

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