Let My People Think

Inedible Heart (a poem)

I used to read a lot of French classics growing up (Maupassant, Stendhal, Flaubert, etc.) They talk about a certain way of life, extolling a certain subset of humanistic values. While I appreciate their cultural significance – not all of those works line up with the ethics that I personally aspire to.

Modern Hollywood productions with a romantic storyline largely follow the same suit. The problem is that they usually tell you only the first part of the story. Nearly all of their stories end with budding romance. There isn’t a high demand for movies which would teach you how to sustain the fire of love for decades, through the highs and lows of life. Movies like “Bicentennial Man” are more of an exception rather than the rule. Script writers are reluctant to tell you what happens later down the road, when you live from one conquest to the next one, from cradle to the grave. And this is what this poem is about.


A secret glance, a furtive look,
Uneven breath, quick blushing face.
Ten love notes written, torn apart.
Young heart aflame.

Loud music. Drinks. A sweaty dance.
A sticky kiss. A moonlit street.
Two bodies pressed against brick wall.
Drunk with romance.

A dragon wrestled to the ground,
A spear plunged in raging mouth,
Slick writhing body split in two.
A victor’s crown.

Age doesn’t rattle samurais.
They always look to pick a fight.
They proudly carry their swords,
That’s all they got.

And at the end of their road,
There’s no one waiting with two coins
To pay the ferryman of Styx.
A bumpy ride.

And crows are fighting for the right
To taste their jaded naked eyes.
And even vultures are too smart
To touch their heart.

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