My Central Muscle

blood red lining cupped the
heart that was removed –
when you
cracked my shell and
greedily grabbed
the centre of my cocoon.

The organ that beats –
that lives
that loves
that dances inside me
(that weeps when it’s weakened).

You’ve stolen my centre –
but lifted my wings.
I’m agape; so exposed –
but too high to get hurt.

© Annie Ridout

(This poem was inspired by the artist Jane Howard’s Love Mussel – pictured)

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