Archive for October, 2007

Heart in a jar

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

Jennifer Sutton and her heart

I saw the picture above in the newspaper. The young woman is Jennifer Sutton. After having her life saved by a heart transplant, she donated her heart (the old one, obviously) to the Wellcome Collection to try to help raise awareness about her disease (restrictive cardiomyopathy if you’re morbidly curious)

I found myself wondering how that would feel. So here’s the resulting lyric.

Heart in a jar…

Went right out to the edge

’til I looked down at the stars

but they pulled me back again

and they put my heart in a jar

This phantom in my chest

measures out seconds that aren’t mine

this heart is quiet, still

resting peacefully, perfectly in time

Staring through the bottle

at the tangled knot of flesh

that kept me anchored to this world

that animated every breath.

This second chance – to dance in bliss

as lovers’ lips, the raindrops kiss

a snatch of song; the heart insists –

a second longer, the beat persists


Beaten insensate, like warrior drums

worn on the sleeve, carried to ignominy

ignored, misused, battered, abused,

surviving still, the poet’s muse,

tender beats such soft tattoos

the comforts of the live embrace,

fill up this empty, aching space

my heart, locked in its jar,

feels so much more,

feels so much…