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Cardboard Box Heart

By M. Stone


Dear stained glass Jesus:

they tucked me between pews
so I could imagine my heart
as a cardboard box, flaps open
to entice you.

I pretended you dwelled
within that red fist organ,
your presence a purr
reverberating through my ribs

but obsessive-compulsive disorder
perched devil-like on my shoulder,
insisting I loved you in a way
no ten-year-old girl should,
that I longed to see the body
beneath your glorious robes.

My prayerful denials couldn’t contain you;
shame served as the catalyst, and you burst
from my cardboard box heart—a dove free
of the magician’s coat sleeve.


About Author:

M. Stone is a bookworm, birdwatcher, and stargazer who writes poetry while living in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in San Pedro River Review, SOFTBLOW, Calamus Journal, and numerous other print and online journals. She can be reached at


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