“Stifled” by Megan Donofrio

He fed her paper mache heart to the dog
before she could poison him with her personality.
It had taken him a lifetime to perfect
the etiquette of a pessimist
and he wasn’t about to squander the wine
in his half empty glass
just to wash down her sentimentality.


Even the dog found her core to be
a struggle to digest,
hiding itself behind the garage
to vomit up the syrup that held together
her honeyed character.


Affection was a charade.
He’d been convinced since he was a child.
She tried to cure his cynicism,
but there would be no exhuming
the emotion he had shredded
way back when.
The pieces had been buried
in the corners of his mind,
withheld from the one organ
that could do him damage.


He’d hauled his heart upon a cutting board.
It was how he managed to sleep at night.








Megan Donofrio is a currently a Creative Writing student at the University of Illinois. She harbors a deep fascination with dark poetry and credits musical geniuses and brilliant lyricists as her greatest influence.