Plastic Hearts

A heart for weddings. A heart for death. Hearts for newborn babies and hearts for stillborns. Hearts for bread crumbs and paper trails, but never past the edge.

Hearts without love.

Hearts without sentiments or words of joy or pain.

People behind profile pictures become reality shows and no longer the flesh and bone — breathing and yearning — humans we once knew.

We watch people die and find joy with straight faces while we pretend to laugh or cry. We put on a mask of words and symbols that ultimately mean nothing. Life has become a spectator’s sport.

Tragedies are unexpected beacons we’ve seen for miles. Covered in little hearts and animated pictures of hugs, but without words that could have been the hands that saved others from drowning. We watch them drown while throwing hearts into the ocean.

No one has the spoons to save a life. No one cares beyond their own scope of reality, which is four walls and a bright screen. Day and night. The click of a worn scrolling wheel crumbles beneath the flicking of thoughtless fingers. Dust has gathered on the keyboard.

At the funeral, they didn’t know. They stared blindly into the beacon for weeks and followed the trails of breadcrumbs, and they placed a plastic heart on the ground before turning around for something brighter. They can’t handle the dark.

They didn’t know the beacon was so bright as they were blinded by it.

©2020 Shane Blackheart


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