Steel heart

In which smelting occurs

When I love I leave sticky fingerprints on every surface: remembering something forgotten, picking up something out of my way, gifting small joys like a cat dragging in half-battered birds.

My mother has always said that love is shown through actions, words are too easy. I took her belief and buried it in my heart, folding it again and again until rippled metal shone. 

My mother and I, we love in absolute balance, action meets action in a constant clash of sparking steel hearts. But not everyone forged their hearts this way. I run the risk of bruising or crushing, or of suffocating others with a barrage of gestures that I watch unfold with impotent horror. 

While it is easy to keep words under body arrest, it turns out I have only clumsy control of my actions.

This steel heart consistently runs the risk of stake raising. A gift for a friend that’s more extravagant than warranted, repeatedly putting yourself out until the other person feels a keen imbalance, giving when someone else feels unable to give back.

I’ve gathered ruddy rocks to smelt chains that can wrap this heart of mine tight and slow the pendulum swing. And maybe one day I’ll figure out how to wield it without wounding.

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