Heartstrings 

She’s just turned sixteen the first time she lets him fuck her and all she can remember about that afternoon is that when he’s done, he turns to her, and asks if she’s done (with his history notes). She gets up from where she was sitting on his floor, grabs her textbook, and leaves. He still waves at her in the hallways.

When she’s about eighteen she notices a small string protruding from her left breast and when she pulls it, she can hear her heart unraveling. It becomes the symphony that soothes her to sleep and each night she closes her thumb to her forefinger and rips outwards, pulling, pulling. Part of her just wants to see how far she can unravel it before she’s stuck with not much inside and having to sort out the tangled mess she has withdrawn.

At twenty-two, she wears high heels and feels as if her soul hovers above her head and winks at the men on the streets. Their souls, however, are stuck inside of them, smoking out through each wolf whistle and catcall. She catches them and puts them in a jar that illuminates her face when she turns out the lights.

Forty-seven and she laughs when she reaches the end of the little thread. She promptly begins cramming the wad of string back from which it came, but it has accumulated too many knots to return into the neat little slit. Resigning, she sets the wad upon her divorce forms, and the string coils into a signature.

            The rest she doesn’t remember.  

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