Confiscated Hearts by Rachel Toles

Rachel Toles’ poetry reaches beyond obligations of intimacy.

Confiscated Hearts

I have been waiting five years
To grow a heart

To feel more than my face
Contorting, reflecting
Whatever your tone requires

To experience more than a momentary
Jesus comparison
When I hand the man walking the streets
With plastic bags wrapped around his feet
A dime

To feel concern
Instead of pleasure
When the big bang following
A frenzied orchestra of screeching tires
Satisfies my hunger for more.

What is this thing called “should”?
They get confiscated, you know,
With marriage contracts
I have always ignored
The fine print.

Photo: Laurent Henschen


Rachel Toles is a short story writer and a poet originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba. She has lived in Los Angeles for 16 years and works as a clinical psychologist specializing in intimacy issues, trauma and anxiety, and as a certified Kundalini yoga instructor. Much of her work involves the vulnerabilities of the human condition, reflected in her writing. Visit her at