A beating, bloody heart throbs in her chest as she sleeps. Her chest rises and falls in her innocent state of slumber as a young boy muffles piercing cries under his pillow two blocks away. His father pulls down his pants and shoves the boy’s head into the pillow, and it’s right on schedule, as always.
Four blocks away, a mother sits in front of her desk with a candle that reflects light off her chin. She stares at the handwritten paper in front her; a line that says groceries, a line that says rent, a line that says Gracie’s tuition. She bites her tongue as a pregnant tear dwindles over her swollen cheek and she crosses a thick, red stroke through her baby girl’s education.
Six blocks away, a man lies with his hand over his husband’s chest. He gazes at those beautiful, sleeping eyes and feels love. Real, true, tangible love. But his heart aches with an empty hole that he can’t fill with money, sex, or the bottle of whiskey under the sink.
Her beating, bloody heart still beats, and beats on as the dark fields of the republic roll on under the night.