speaking of the matters of the heart

Anya Dela Cruz
2 min readAug 13, 2023

something grips my heart so tightly, so mercilessly,

it feels like i’m drowning in pain.

loving is pain, a cynic could say.

but if love were so miserable, why do i feel the need to sink in my own hands deeper, squeezing in every ounce of blood i can pour out of my core?

why do i feel the need to let things pass, to let this longing drive me in endless circles of anxiety, loss, and newfound birth?

why do i have these sleepless nights and lucid dreams filled with the sight of you taking your morning coffee?

is it because i believe in the power of love, like the foolish teenager that i once was?

is it because i perceive that the realness of love is formed through the pain and the healing caused by the endless acts of hope and despair?

is it because i’m designed to keep loving, even if it means setting my body in flames?

God has peeked into my soul for a second.

i sincerely long for the warmth that this hold has on my chest.

i pinch my heart once,

and i pinch it a little again. even harder.

a little more. until my heart fits the palm of your hand.

even closer.

and then you clasp it, yank it out, and absorb it into yours.

what do i gain and what do i lose?

the butterflies have been set free from my innards, and they’re fluttering away so beautifully.

the mess that my tears, my blood, my bile, and my sweat has made is forever etched into our brains.

i can’t stop. my stomach fell out, and then my ears, and then my eyes, and then my brain.

i’d walk up to an altar and sacrifice myself for something so holy, something as holy as the life that you’ve given to my mangled vessel.

if God were listening — and i’m sure they are — it’s to keep a hold, to keep this grip from me.

the anxiety from you coming home late at night and the relief that comes when i hear the door click gives me a sense of warmth.

it’s something we share whenever we eat convenience store food together, when you hold my hand during god-awful bus rides home, when you fall asleep with your mouth open.

you hold my soul so ruthlessly and mercilessly, so lovingly and gently.

and i’ve rooted myself on the sea floor that i could grow into a majestic and beautiful sea tree.