I wear my heart far from my sleeve.

Look at you.

You, with your open, honest eyes. Your caring fingers.

You, with your heart tacked onto your sleeve.

Hide it away, cover it up. Lock it away somewhere secret, safe, secure. Far from the greedy gaze of people, far from the thorns and barbs of the everyday world.

Hide it away before someone sees it, wrenches it off that sleeve. Takes it, beating steadily, into rough, callused hands. And then tears it apart, wringing the blood out of it with cruel, vicious fingers; stamping on throbbing tissue for good measure.

Hide it away, before your blood seeps into the dust there, smeared over the ground like some grotesquely beautiful Impressionist painting.

Hide it away, so you don’t have to piece together the ragged remains of your heart. So you don’t have to sew it back together with tender, uncertain, bloody fingers. So you don’t have to breathe life back into yourself.

Hearts were built to be locked behind cages, don’t you understand? To be hidden behind layers of skin and flesh and bone, cocooned safe in your chest. To be far from the world’s scrutiny,to be inaccessible to others. It is simple science, basic architecture. After all, what is the first, most basic human impulse when presented with something valuable? Lock it away, hide it somewhere safe, cover it with wood and metal. Protect it, shield it from the big,bad world. So lies our heart, surrounded by pillars of bone and walls of sinew.

So don’t wear your heart on your sleeve. Don’t tattoo it onto your face with your ready smile, your bubbling laughter, the light in your eyes. Hide it away, hide it away.