This is what my broken heart feels like: the survivors of an earthquake rummaging endlessly through the destruction of their city. The ruins of their great city now being clawed at, now being daily dug through and ruined all over again. Their home wrecked by an earthquake they could have done nothing to stop and nothing to prepare for. An inevitable disaster. Hundreds of thousands are dead. Every single building flattened. And the survivors, audacious and deluded, crawl out from the rubble only to turn around at once and crawl back in, looking for their loved ones. They scrape at every inch of what was once their city, and that constant scraping, day and night, that searching, that hopeless plunging into the wreckage, knowing you are now a refugee in your own heart, but convinced your home is still somewhere beneath the shattered pieces that once constituted it, that hurried, scrambled churning of failed construction is what my heart feels like. A million little hands clawing at my soul. Relentless, prodding, digging through every inch, taking days just to get the bottom of a single pile and the city is populated now with piles where once were people. And when one scavenger hits concrete or soil, he just keeps digging into the Earth, convinced if what he’s looking for isn’t under the ruined rooftops, it must be buried in the ground somewhere. My heart is a collection of useless wood and brick and nails, and yet millions of little hands and feet are stomping and tearing at the rubble looking for something that isn’t even there, thinking if they just pour all their energy into this pile it will grow back into a city. But it won’t. Because everyone is fucking dead. They climb, and claw, and dig, and burrow, and burrow, and burrow, and come up every single time with nothing. Nothing. Why are they working so hard when every search party ends in failure and every pile reveals just another dead body, or the faulted foundation of their decayed, meant to decay, home. You have to know what it’s like to be a stranger in a new place, and then become that stranger in your own home, in your own heart. Until neither you nor your heart can recognize each other anymore. My heart doesn’t beat anymore. It never feels like it’s beating. Normal hearts beat. Healed hearts beat. My heart sputters. My heart feels like concrete in a blender. Every day. Crunching, turning, churning, crunching, breaking, always breaking. Every pick-axe, every hand, every foot, every impossibly hopeful eye, every bulldozer, every survivor of the city, searching, churning in dissonance and isolation, in aggregate creating infinite locations of little, huge pains. Every instance, every dig, every plunging in and tossing out, every sorting, every scraping and setting aside, every stomp through and kicking over, is one single pain next to and on top of millions of identical ones, and I feel every single one alone and together, all eating at a ruined dinner table, impossible to pinpoint except to motion somewhere towards my chest and mutter, “Here. It hurts here.” This is where they are digging. 2 years. Every day. Every night. Every moment. Every hour. 2 years. Digging. Digging. 2 years. Digging through rubble. This is the war-zone of a war long ended. The earthquake came and went. It got what it came for. It’s only you now, only you alone, only you alone and at war with yourself. This is the true and sustained climax following the false peak of tragedy. This is the relentless climax. This is my heart broken and prodded. Broken and prodded. Churning and crunching like glass under human teeth, or human teeth under human boots. 2 years. 2 years. Every single fucking day. There’s nothing in my heart now, there is nothing in my heart now, there is nothing to find there, yet they won’t stop digging. Why won’t they stop? It hurts. My heart hurts.