By Ashley Wu
The bottom of a heart is in two. The left ventricle cradles oxygenated blood, but the right ventricle is deoxygenated, craving.
I love you and from the bottom of my heart I assure you that I will move on. I will not wallow in the sea of my sorrows shaded red, drowning, suffocating in nothing for what am I without you? And I am full of joy for you. You were not happy here, you were not full here. I could not fill you with what you deserved because the bottom of my heart is in two. It is from my left that I wish to tell you goodbye, full of life and strength, assuring you that, beyond you, I have a purpose, assuring you that something needs me. But it is only right that you leave. Leave me empty, devoid of what I once had, what I once gave, what I wish to receive. O, I am drowning! I was supposed to be your anchor supposed to protect you supposed to save you. Instead you were my lungs and I, greedily, feasted on your creations, for the bottom of my heart is empty. You wanted to sail and I could not let you, for you were my buoy and I was drowning. (Am drowning.) You have escaped my four chambers. You have sailed free from my embrace on a wind warm with breath pushed from lungs.
I never thought biology would make me need to write a poem, but here I am. I wanted to give a deeper meaning to the phrase “from the bottom of my heart,” so I took it literally. Biology taught me that a heart has four chambers. The bottom two, the ventricles, have one blaring difference: one is full of oxygen, one is devoid of it. There had to be some significance there, right? How can we speak sincerely from a place of both death and life? I felt the pull to write a poem with this new meaning.
Ashley Wu is a teenager in New York. She is a daughter, a sister, a friend, a student and a zebra. Only four of those things are true. Outside of Zoom classes, you might find her taking photos, making movies, playing the flute, dancing her heart out or pretending she lives in one of the books she’s reading.