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Organ Tender

a cycle we cannot break

By Sam Eliza GreenPublished 12 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - June 2023
photo by Yan Krukau on Pexels

There is a nook between my mattress and the wall. Some nights, I take out my brain and hide it there so I can sleep. Some mornings, I leave it for the dogs to find and fight over, still a better existence than residing in my head.

After a day of wandering through the heat, I toss it in the freezer and hope the throbbing stops. Every evening before dinner, I set it on the tabletop and dissect the parts that are not mine. So often, I have drowned it in the tub when silence is all I want or poisoned it just enough that I believe in happiness. It does not belong in my skull, and it returns for safekeeping only when I am feeling sentimental — “do you remember when…”

“I’d rather not.”

There is a stuffed bear holding my secrets. When my heart is sick, I rip it from my chest and give it to her. When it is empty and aching, I smash it between the pages of a book until it is full. Scribbled on the surface like the graffiti of a high school table are all the names that still haunt me.

When it burns from anxiety, I leave it in a dark room all alone. I question if it is really mine or someone else’s because it feels used by everyone but me. When, on rare occasions, I palm it tenderly and massage the chambers like the knotted ridges hugging a lover’s spine, it beats mockingly — “what the hell are you doing?”

“I don’t know. My brain is somewhere else.”

There is a pot of earth on my patio. When my stomach is in knots, I bury it there, and it unravels like a bundle of roots ready for spring. Sometimes, I have forgotten how to eat, so I lay it to bake beneath the sun, hoping exhaustion will urge the memory. It is usually wanting for something other than food.

If stress leaves ulcers, I mend them with a slick of honey and peanut butter. For certain hungers, I must concoct fragments of blessings I have not known, can only imagine. Occupied by butterflies, I hook it on a line and drag it through the river. Gorged with water, it cannot float away. At night, with nothing to satiate but dreams, it groans — “I want everything.”

“We are what we eat, and I am mostly an illusion.”

There is a strangeness in my body. I do not try to make sense in the tending of organs. Eventually, my skin twirls like ribbons through the washing machine, and my liver is soaking in a jar of lemonade. My intestines are still mourning the appendix that went missing years ago. And my lungs spa in a steamer basket, purging remnants of toxic vapor and smoke.

On the floor, I will stretch in all kinds of contortions to let bare muscles and ligaments release the grudges they have held for too long. Wandering through the house, a shell of what I could be, I check on the organs like a night shift nurse, unwilling to disturb their much needed rest. I gather the trespassers in the backyard like a criminal line up — “You need us.”

“I don’t need anyone.”

There is a truth to it all, whichever way. Hatred, shame, dread — I toss them into the fire pit. Those who have yet to prove their guilt watch over my shoulder as the flames devour. I claw a hole in the rockery and bury the rest there. They will certainly resurface for the next tending.

Once I am free of awful burdens, I return the renewed organs to their rightful places. They shift and stretch into the newfound vacancy within my body, cherishing momentary relief. Yet, they know they cannot stay — “this is our way of things.”

“This is our way.”

There is a cycle we cannot break.

love poemssurreal poetryinspirationalheartbreak

About the Creator

Sam Eliza Green

Wayward soul, who finds belonging in the eerie and bittersweet. Poetry, short stories, and epics. Stay a while if you're struggling to feel understood. There's a place for you here.

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (11)

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  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran12 months ago

    Oof, this hit me so hard! It was so poignant yet so beautiful! I loved it! Subscribed to you!

  • This was incredibly original. I don't think I've ever read another poem like that. Completely gripping. This is the kind of poem that will stay with you for days and pop back into your memory in least expected moments

  • Heather Hubler12 months ago

    I felt like this was me. What a raw, honest, hauntingly beautiful piece. I loved it, from the first line to the last.

  • Valentina Savage12 months ago

    well written! I would be very happy if you go read one of my poems

  • Ashley Ball12 months ago

    This was so poignant and lovely! I’ll be honest, I started crying. It hit me in a very relatable way. Existence for me right now is hard, and everyday is a struggle, so this story made me feel sad but like I’m not alone. This was an absolutely beautiful read. Thank you for writing it 🩵

  • Cezanne Libellen12 months ago

    This is terrifying and beautiful!! I love this Sam!!

  • Tina D'Angelo12 months ago

    Absolutely spellbinding. Those who cannot understand these urges are not human. Perfectly expressed. I will re-read this over and over again.

  • Neesem Khan12 months ago

    Excellent work vary nice

  • Madoka Mori12 months ago

    This is beautiful.

  • Sonia Heidi Unruh12 months ago

    Phenomenal piece. The metaphors are exquisite. This imagery makes the history of hurt and the process of healing *real* in a way I've never seen before.

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