by Daniel G. Reinhold
There was a man who had a broken heart. It was so broken that it had shattered into hundreds of small pieces. It was much like smashing a head of iceberg lettuce that had been dipped in liquid nitrogen. Except that the pieces of his broken heart lodged themselves into his belly. His belly was very big because he drank lots of beer. He drank lots of beer because he had a broken heart. He read an ad in the Village Voice, he lived in Manhattan, that touted a doctor in Guadalajara, Mexico who claimed he could replace broken hearts with piñatas. First, the man had to have the pieces of his broken heart removed. It took seven women seven hours to extract the pieces of the man’s broken heart. The women used steel tweezers and a Hoover vacuum cleaner. The doctor, who also sold handwoven baskets to tourists, replaced the man’s heart with a very colorful piñata. The piñata was painted with the most electric reds, yellows, and blues. The piñata looked like a parrot. The man believed that the piñata that replaced his broken heart was a gift from God. He knew it was very fragile. But he was comforted by the single fact that if anyone ever broke his heart again it would explode with trinkets, baubles, candies. He was comforted by this single fact that his heart would break in the most wonderful of wonderful ways.
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This poem was originally published in The New Orleans Review.