The capacity of the heart

dear heart,

what a gift you are,

a portal

into the ecstasy of love.

You’re so sweet

so comforting

so gentle

and kind,

and in your

tender embrace

 I can love her

and him and her.

But I’m not sure

about him.

I can only love so much, right?

There are limits,

don’t you think?

I need to protect my

sweet little heart,

my oasis where I am safe

from the chaos in this world.


Oh heart, what’s that you say?

How wide can I open?

Well since you ask, here’s my list:

I love my family and friends,

I love my co-workers,

I help the old lady down the street,

and whenever there is a calamity,

I donate money and things.

So you see how well

you’ve taught me,

to give what I can,

to take care of my close ones,

and of course,

to take care of me,

I mean you.


Wait, what are you asking now?

How about loving a thief?

How about loving someone who looks different?

How about love for people who hurt people?

Well of course not, dear heart,

my love has boundaries you know.

They certainly don’t deserve my compassion,

they are choosing their lives,

they are squandering their hearts.

But I,

I  am choosing the right way to love.

They are bad,






Did I just say that?



No words from you, heart?


I feel ashamed.

I feel small

all the way down

to that hidden place

where I fear to go—

for what if I discover that

I am bad,

that I am unlovable?

What then?

What then?


Keep feeling,

you say?

But how much can I feel?

It feels scary

to stretch like this,

it feels unknown.

I need to hold on

to something,

I’m alone,

I’m terrified

I might disappear.

And oh my god,

if I disappear,

what’s left?


Feel all of it,

you say?

Trust it?


Deep breath,

yes it feels less tight,

less bounded,

less restricted,

and somehow held.


Oh but

it hurts, and

it feels good,

I’m breaking open

and open

and more open.

There is no end to love,

is there?

No barriers,

no conditions,

no limits at all.


And if there

are no walls,

where do I end?

Where do you start?

Where is the separation

of our heart?


Beloved one,

I offer you a rose,

 you offer me

the universe.

It’s simple,

you whisper,

be love,

share it



5 thoughts on “The capacity of the heart

  1. Lorraine this is exquisite and profound.
    Thank you for all that this poem opens and invite for us all. And thank you for what these verses gently cast away, all that is “too small” for our beautiful heart. ❤

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