Old Poetry 1

I wrote this five years ago for my very first love ever, Ari. I remember the satisfying feeling of realizing that the poem I had written was all I wanted from it: It was sweet, silly, and truthful. I proudly showed Ari the text and have never been so content with a gift in my life. Now an English major in college, I am still proud of this silly piece.

Here is my heart.

You can have it.

I guess it’s kind of like a present,

like… an early birthday present.

Only it’s better than a present.

For my heart, unlike other presents,

you don’t need to write a thank-you note.

Then I might feel like my heart

only means as much to you

as all the other presents you got

that your mommy made you write thank-yous for.

You don’t even need to tell me thank you.

All you will do to thank me

is to treat it as it deserves to be treated.

I mean,

you’ve done an excellent job so far

what with not breaking it the moment I handed it to you.

Good going.

No seriously.

All of the little nothings that mean everything?

[You don’t know what I’m talking about.]

Well, those things you do are thanks enough.

Just staying amazing is thanks o’plenty.

So thanks.

Whoa there-

don’t drop it!


For my heart, unlike other presents,

you must truly want it.

If you don’t want it,

do not for one second pretend to.

Don’t smile big at me

and say, “how thoughtful of you”

with intentions to put it in the goodwill box the second you get home.

Oh no sir.

You will not be forgiven for that.

If you don’t truly want my heart,

do not accept my gift.

Give it straight back.

Make sure you want it,

and then you may have it.

For my heart, unlike other presents,

you must be very ready.

My heart needs love and caring,

and I know that a lot of boys your age

aren’t ready for that sort of a responsibility.

That’s okay.

If that is the case,

all you have to do is

summon me quietly

touch me gently

and tell me softly, “I’m not ready.”

Then I shall take it back to my home

and put it away for a while

until you are ready.

Then you can come to me

and take it away!

If you’re not truly ready,

my heart will understand that

much more than it will understand you hurting it.

For my heart, unlike other presents,

you can’t be neglectful.

It’s more like a fish or a gerbil

I guess

than it is like a scarf or a book.

You have to check on it every single day

to make sure that it has the proper amount of love in its diet

and is getting enough exercise.

If you need more specific instructions,

just talk to me.

I’m an excellent heart-keeper.

Lots of experience

with very,


not-so-nice hearts.

But my heart is a good, gentle heart

so it shouldn’t be too much trouble for you.

I’ll have a talk with it before I let you have it.

I’ll remind it not to whine

or beg

and to use its manners

and to only be love you if you’ll love it too.

But that shouldn’t be a problem.

…should it?

For my heart, unlike other presents,

you have to be the right size.

Don’t laugh.

That wasn’t sexual until you made it sexual.

Naturally my heart has to fit you right!

We’ll hold it up to you now

to see how it looks.


It seems it will fit you nicely.

Actually I think it will be a great fit,

but that’s just my opinion.

I think I might have to do a few alterations,

but you’ll have to let me know

once you get home.

You can take a spin in the mirror,

and just try it out a little.

Then get back to me.

I could take it in a bit there,

and fix the hem here.

Maybe take away a bit of jealousy

and add some more affection around the back.

Oh boy.

I just found another little tear in my heart.

That’s left over from the last boy I tried to give it to.

He dropped it.

Then he didn’t really take the time to sew it back together properly.

And he wasn’t the best mender to begin with.

Well of course my heart is fine now.

That last tear there will


just as soon as it’s had some time with you.

It can mend itself.

It just needs a little more love to do so.

For my heart, unlike other presents,

you can’t get bored.

Other presents, I know,

you can just sort of sneak them under your bed when you get bored,

or put them up on a dusty shelf,

hide them a bit

and then forget about them.

If you’re going to get bored with my heart anytime soon,

then you must give it back right now.

My heart doesn’t need that sort of hurt.

At least, not if we can help it.

For my heart, unlike other presents,

you need to be very, very careful.

Naturally, there are some other gifts you’ll want to be careful with too.

Snow globes, for one.

Keep those on high shelves.

And ceramic plates?

Put them on the high shelf too.

But the thing about my heart is,

it won’t survive on a safe shelf.

You can’t put it on the safe shelf with the delicate things

and you can’t put it on the forgotten shelf

with the other presents you forgot about.

That’s the tricky part.

My fragile heart needs to be handled and loved every day!

So if you want to,

you may hide it safely in your pocket

or even in your wallet

to carry it to work with you.

Or put it in the front compartment of your backpack

where you put your gum for safekeeping

and take it to school with you.

[I’ll meet up with you there

to check on my heart.]

Be very careful. Gentle.

I think you’ll do perfectly fine.

For my heart, unlike other presents,

you mustn’t let go.

If a bigger boy,

or one with more money,

or a better car,

comes along and tries to convince you that he deserves my heart more,

tell him he’s wrong.

As long as you still want my heart,

you must fight for my heart.

Even if my heart doesn’t care who takes it.

if you still want my heart,

if you still think you deserve my heart,

then you better fight for it, baby.

Fight for it like you’d have nothing left to live for.

Because honestly,

no matter how hot this other guy might be,

I can tell you right now that my heart won’t honestly want him

unless he’s willing to fight for it.

That’s how you can stand out from

the other silly boys my heart has seen,

if you want to.

[Be willing to fight for it.]

For my heart, unlike other presents,

it would be nice to get something in return.

I mean,

it’s not even your birthday yet.

If I give you a gift just because,

then you should give me a give just because.

[I’m not being selfish;

that’s just good manners.]

Let’s think for a minute…

Well, I already have a great deal of clothes.

I don’t really wear jewelry too often.


I suppose we really are in a pickle here.


I have a superb idea.

In exchange for my heart,

you can just give me yours.

Does that sound like a fair trade?

Oh, don’t worry.

I’ll love it better than any other girl ever has

and ever could.


I think this is a good idea.

I think it will work nicely.

If anything happens we’ll just,

quick, trade back.

But until then,

you can love my heart

while I love yours.



Oh and thank you too.


Photo credit: The Groom Family



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