Cor Cordium (Heart of Hearts)

Oh, for there is a wild animal caged within my ribs
Pacing the floor of the pericardium that cushions its fall
I must say that sometimes I fear this ravenous beast
With jaws so large it seems it would devour the whole world

A Venn diagram of passion and pain, an infinity of ventricles
The creature gallops in place as if chasing some distant prey
Rattling the bars of its enclosure with cries for oxygen
If let loose I am sure it would bring destruction upon my pride

Yet I know not what else to do with such a fearsome thing
It mocks beauty by pounding its frenzied paws
It leaps at the most trivial matters of the day
It curls in on itself when it is already warm
And would tear to shreds any sleeve it encounters

To silence or remove it would be to invite an instant death
And so I must learn to live with its erratic appetite
I must train it to settle down every time you pass
And not to act so comfortable when you get close

I must muffle the sound when it shrieks your name
And discourage it from poking its head out as you near
For there is a wild animal caged within my ribs
Do tread carefully, for I fear that you can hear its call

--Alyssa K., 9th-12th Grade