I fell from a hole in my heart
And you caught me.
A wounded woman, perhaps even broken.
You were right where I needed you to be,
Under the sky as I came plummeting down.
You pulled me so close and tight into your chest,
My ear against your heart.
“Listen.” You said as you stroked my hair
like I was some wild thing curled against you.
I did eventually still.
And as I listened,
the beat lulled away the world.
It beat so slowly it made my shoulders relax,
And the weight of my heart sank right down into yours.
I could breathe in the space between those beats.
I’ve thought a lot about the timing over the years
Like we made a pact in another life that when I broke you would be there
Not to put me back together again
But to show me I had another heart that would fill.
Even now, so many years later
I look at you across the coffee table,
The light from the TV flickering across your face,
You’re just as soft. Just as strong.
I remember the sound of creaking boats in the bath
The sarong you wore as you played guitar and made me brie on toast for breakfast
Your hand still strokes my hair when I fret
And your heart still beats slower than anyone I’ve ever met.
© Elsa Holland