Phantom Heartache

I couldn’t sleep, 
eat, 
think 
or 
feel.  

I spent my years adding hollowness to the chest-hole you left behind.

“It will heal,” the physician said.
“Phantom Heartaches aren’t chronic.
Rub some Distance on the wound.
Take one and a half Time pills before dark.”

Distance didn’t work.
Time tumored around thoughts of your hands on my skin.
My wound was infected by loneliness;
it oozed memories,
and it throbbed like the day you ripped happiness out of my loins.

“Here is a new one.”
The physician eased the replacement heart,
gently tearing into flesh you forever claimed.
“Perfect, see?”

It did look perfect; undeniably
for another,
but I wasn’t feeling it.

I slept,
ate,
even thought,
but felt nothing
in the places where you had been.

“You can’t die from not feeling,” the physician said.

“Neither can I live,” I told him. And walked out; chest holed anew; bleeding of you.

for Poets United (Poetry Pantry #239)

The End of Heartache, by Craig Mackay

64 comments:

  1. Wowzers Magaly!!! Those words are perfection...as is the image you found to go with them :D XXX

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    1. You make me smile, Gina. And yes, that image is fantastic. I hope the photographer gets in contact. It would be wonderful to ask him/her about it.

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    1. Wonderful is good. I like ;-)

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  3. WOW. The words are so filled with power and emotion. The photo is a divine pick to accompany this poetry.
    Beautiful.
    Oma Linda

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    1. I believe every word came with a little bit of flesh, a little bit of blood, and a world of love ;-)

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  4. You’ve captured the depth of emotion so vividly it bleeds. I felt it. You have such a way with words.

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    1. "emotion so vividly it bleeds" seems to go perfect with the tone. Gracias ;-)

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  5. Love lost, love found ... how deeply profound ...

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    1. Indeed, and well perceived, my friend ;-)

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  6. FREAKING totally... TOTALLY, gutsy and raw, everyone needs to read this to know how humans bleed by invisible wounds, and can heal, in years... or moments... when consuming the right antidote... ahh - perfect!

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    1. I'm always enchanted by the brilliance of your interpretations. Indeed, wounds hurt so deeply when they are fresh. They give the impression that healing is impossible, and then they heal and provide scars that remind us just how educational the experience was... but they heal, that is what matters... to me ;-)

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  7. WOW!!! Amazing! Beautiful and very powerful!

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    1. I'm glad it touched you. You were in my mind while I wrote some of it. I will email you and let you know more ;-)

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  8. Oh. It might not be exactly what you meant, but I will tell you what I recognized. I suffer from a clinical depression, and those lines:
    “You can’t die from not feeling,” the physician said.
    “Neither can I live,” I told him.
    is what we go through almost daily. We hurt so much we sometimes have to shut off, or slit or wrists. And then some genius says: Yeah, but you have a depression, we already knew that.
    I had a horrible week. A week when I could hardly speak (cause it hurst to even breathe). This morning I woke up and reached for my lovers hand. Because I was well enough to feel today. And god, do I feel. So, today was a "good" day.
    Thank you for recognizing and portraying human emotions, and pain.

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    1. Pain, Love and Relief comes in so many different shapes and flavors... so strange (and uncannily reassuring) it is to know that we are not alone in our feelings, and that our expression carry other emotions.

      I wrote this poem with an specific person in mind, yet, the line you chose was meant for my best friend who, like you, suffers of depression. I pray for the day she can reach out and find a hand that can make her feel that she is well enough to feel... then I hope for that day to be very long for both of you.

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  9. Oh honey, my heart weeps though I am not certain for which emotion, for this has stirred so many. My mind is nearly chaotic with the possibilities of the pain, the healing, the source. That image is sheer perfection to this prose.

    I wish for you the happiness that is needed to calm your pain and hope you can feel my arms around you. They are small, but very, very warm. Mina

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    1. Your arms, energy and love are always around me, my dear Mina. I was talking about you, yesterday, and about Oma, and Shelle, and Gina, and a few others who have been there, to keep me focus--or just to drape arms around me--when I've needed it most. I am happy ;-)

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  10. Replies
    1. "Hot" is good in the rain. I like it ;-)

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  11. Anonymous3/01/2013

    By far my favorite. I continue to walk around with that emptiness.
    He's one luck man for you to have those harboured feelings. I'm glad the physican found you, can I please get a referral?
    Ryan A. K

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  12. so true...that you can not live when you exist in the numb...
    this chronicles in many ways the journey i took after the fall from my
    first love...i tried to fill that hole with many things that nearly killed
    me

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    1. We do so many things to fix things that cannot be mended; things that should probably be left alone, not forgotten, but just be allowed to evolve into what they must become. But this idea is so difficult to see when we are young, hurt and sure we're dying...

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  13. Some wounds and hollows can never be healed nor filled even with the new one ~ Love the conversation & the ending speaks of love, tragically lost & never found ~

    Have a lovely weekend Magaly ~

    Grace

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    1. I agree. They just are. We can learn from them, sooth the hollowness or let it claim other things in different ways... Replacement never truly works in matters of the heart.

      Hope you have a glorious weekend, too. ;-)

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  14. A strong poem here, Magaly. So true that a person cannot die from not feeling, but neither can they live!

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  15. The numbness you describe here is so strong and that end sums it up perfectly. I think that's exactly how it is.. That limbo of feeling nothing...

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    1. "numbness" is the right way, methinks.

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  16. neither living nor sleeping, that's a quiet standing,
    love the way your words fall....

    cheers.

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  17. Whew! Wow! nice read...
    ZQ

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  18. Rub some Distance on the wound..

    This speaks so well in reply to the platitudes that well-meaning people express in the presence of heartache. They mean well but it is all bullsh*t.

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    1. My thoughts exactly. It bothers me when one person tells another, "Don't worry. It will pass. I've been there..." and so on. Well, if you've been there then you should know that it doesn't matter how many people say it, you still feel like something die inside you. Love is a powerful things, empowering and devastating, in all its manifestations.

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  19. A fable that rings true in every word and image. Time and space are not absolute healers--and what may not kill us certainly might also not help us live. Love the form you used to tell this.

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    1. "...and what may not kill us certainly might also not help us live." So very wise...

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  20. Neither can I live! Perfect line!

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  21. Oh my GOODNESS, this is a spectacular write. So glad I didnt miss it. Fantastic, every line with a zinger of a close. Perfect!

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    1. So glad I get to see the joy of your reaction. It will make me smile for days!

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  22. amazing metaphors Magaly......all the lines are my favorite....

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    1. Well, that's a pleasure to know. ;-)

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  23. loved the image of phantom heartache :)

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    1. Craig Mackay is very gifted. ;-)

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  24. you cant put a time limit on healing, it has to happen all of its own

    have a nice week

    much love...

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  25. Wow, wonderful sustained metaphor, and great conclusion!

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    1. Thank you, Rosemary (I love typing your name and speaking it, too). ;-)

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  26. '“Phantom Heartaches aren’t chronic." ~ Love it. The picture reminded me the legend of Danko. Heartaches are challenges for us to heal others' hearts thru our pain by compassion....Like your style, Magaly! x

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    1. I fell in love with that picture the moment I saw it. There is so much in it...

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  27. Very powerful the loss to cause that pain would be emense.

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