A poem by Katherine Venn, inspired in part by Old Testament prophecies about God replacing people’s hearts. Illustrated by Joey Guidone.

I woke to find God sitting on my bed. ‘This
is going to hurt,’ she said, reached into my chest

and pulled my heart up from its roots. Stumbling
to my feet I followed her downstairs, a trail

of blood dark on the kitchen floor, and out
into the moonlit garden. The breeze sang low

across my opened breast as I watched her plant it,
my heart: four inches deep, the depth

you’d plant a tulip bulb. She pressed the earth
down with her fingers, satisfied, then turned to me

and took a fold of seeds out from her pocket,
shook out one, two, three into a palm

and dropped them in the space my heart had been.
‘Sweet peas,’ she said, her fingers at my breast, and left.

Since then I wake at night to feel them stirring,
their roots stitched through my veins, their scent

a prayer. Outside, my old heart draws me
to the garden, to kneel and see if it’s put up a leaf. 

'Sweet Peas' was published in our 14th issue, The Curious Issue, which is available to buy here.