Sarath Reddy

The Woman Who Swallowed Her Heart

Dangling from sinew of metal ,
what remained of a love that dazzled,
until he left her a fist full of Februarys ago,
love’s cruelty, gold plated.
She saw happier times in its mirror,
felt for it every morning, felt it tapping
in cadence with her heartbeat.

Until the pain became too great
and she plucked it from its bezel,
clutched it between her fingers, closed her eyes,
felt him again, ground its cold smooth edges,
a flint stone between clenched teeth,
and as if to erase its memory, swallowed it,
winced as it tumbled down her throat.

The X Ray showed it pinned against
the ghost of her heart, she refused
to let anyone rescue it.


Sarath Reddy is a physician whose poetry has been shaped by his experiences as a father, physician, and Indian-American. Sarath’s poetry has been published in Journal of the American Medical Association, Off the Coast, Hunger Mountain, Poetry East, and Paterson Literary Review. He lives in Brookline, MA with his wife and three children.