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Sacred heart

When Naomi first touched him, he was already rigid and blue

By Alison MacLeod   December 2004

In a lifetime it will beat some three billion times, yet it is capable of more than twice this. Unravaged, the human heart would beat for two hundred years.

Naomi does not know this. She is nineteen. She knows only that the man beside her on the bench was blue when she turned to him – blue, a colour which up to now was no more than an idea for the sea and the sky. Blue and bloating. A party balloon for a face. An ECG flat line for a mouth. He didn’t belong – not there under the horse…

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