Patricia Wallace Jones

Voodoo Valentine

by Austin MacRae

In school I snipped out heart-shaped valentines
so overzealously the teacher tried
to stop me as I sliced past dotted lines
and severed Jenny’s heart in two. She cried.
Then Tanya sneered, too nasty to resist;
she had a face no spit wad could eclipse,
so I crushed her finished heart inside my fist
and skewered it with twisted paperclips.
My victim shrieked; the teacher thought me mad
and led me, red-faced, ear-first down the hall
where I lost the only decent heart I had
to pacify the lonely principal
who sighed and droned about how soft we are,
how bad this damned day cuts, how deep and how far.
Austin MacRae’s new chapbook, Graceways, was just released by Modern Metrics and is available online at His poems have appeared or will appear in Measure, The Raintown Review, The Formalist, Pivot, The Lyric, and Blue Unicorn.