Like a Noose

Ribcages are fascinating.
They protect.
Or at least they’re meant to.
They never seem to be able to keep
hearts safe, I should probably fire mine
because they don’t do their job,
aren’t quite as bulletproof as they need to be,
keeps things in a little too well.
Ribs constrict and twist, bruise and tear
what they’re supposed to be protecting
breathing isn’t the problem here: lungs in tact.
My neck isn’t bruised and blue
but I can still feel
a rope of disappointment and loss of
force me to face the mutinous
bones in my body.
Why am I able to feel my heart
snap like a neck?
Left wondering when
when this cage and I will be on the same
bone of understanding, that
hearts need protection and
the heart that needs guarding isn’t the one
pushing blood through this body,
it’s the one that makes me want to allow myself
to care about the heart beating
in you.

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Riley Marie is a poet, activist, academic, and teen camp counselor. When she isn't grinding away toward her Masters degree she can be found eating ice cream, playing the mandolin, or talking to her mom and best friends.