Heartbeats of Light | Donald Illich

  • Krysia Jopek
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I wore a suit.  I called it my own skin.  
Wherever I went, people asked how long 
I was going to where it, whether I’d trade it
in for a pair of wings and a gown.  I ran 
from them, trying not to get a tear in my jacket, 
a rip down my spine.  Damage could happen 

anywhere.  I could be taking a class when a man 
launches a full-scale attack on my threads 
with bullets made of lead.  They might reveal 

the label, my heart, which once torn off, ruins 
the whole outfit.  It soon became clear I didn’t 
want to wear it outside, for fear an unknown 

bomb might drop, setting the cloth on fire, 
burning up the hanger of bones.  A watch 
ticked inside the fabric, telling me when it 

would lose its suppleness, its ability to shield me 
from the world.  I swore one day I’d take it off. 
I wouldn’t be afraid.  I’d let what’s inside me 

spill out into the ground.  I’d let whatever’s left 
shoot into the air, where it would be safe in the sea 
and the river, the rocks and the dirt.  It wouldn’t 

matter what I wore then.  They’d be as sturdy 
as the earth, recycled and torn, renewing itself 
as the sun fires within its glow, heartbeats of light.
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