Sophia McGovern

My heart is turning to stone. If carved out of my chest and plopped on my desk, would it continue to beat? Would it cry like a newborn? Maybe it would start to wilt, and I could water it like a house plant, damning it to a half-life of dusty arteries.

But how would I remove it? Like a Claymation effect from Indiana Jones, my fingers might part the atoms in some mystical way. If that doesn’t work, perhaps I could use a scalpel and break open the sternum like a game of Operation. There’d be no blood from something this solid.

As I’d study it, I’d wonder if this heart were still human. If it were stranded in the ocean would a dolphin still think it a sister mammal? Would it give a shark a stomach ache?

Through the weeks of study, I’d see its colors. Its sedimentary streaks would be like tree rings—I’d read the years and the stories with my fingers. Something like bubbles would cling to the underside as if it were changing and cooled too quickly, like a new island forming. I’d find secret species hidden from men and guns and fangs, fumbling between branches mid-evolution.

Perhaps I could learn to love this horrid thing.

Sophia McGovern is an English teacher, writer, zinester, and book-maker in Tempe, Arizona. She runs little somethings press and has too many book t-shirts.