Hermit Hearts

Poetry by | April 29, 2024

The heart is like a conch shell,
or is it the other way around?
It hums, they say, the song of the sea,
or just echoes the sounds surrounding it:
of the waves, of our breathing, of the vacuum
we often mistake for sand, water, air.

We owned one before. It rested
on our living room table, steady and still,
like a figurine you had to handle with care.
Its spire had been severed, leaving a hole
you would whisper secrets and wishes into:
I love you. And I love you. But I love you.
Then you would wait for its reply,
but its aperture would merely murmur
things you never understood.

But I do now. When our house was demolished,
we simply had to move to another, leaving
everything behind, like hermit crabs.

Jade Mark Capiñanes is the author of the flash fiction collection How to Grieve. He’s currently taking his MFA in Creative Writing at De La Salle University in Manila.

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