Submitted Date 05/19/2022

If I could,
I would rip open my stomach.
Up, under my ribs, put your hand over the organs.
Reach up until you feel the muscle, the pull and push of it,
until you are holding the very center
of me.

If I could,
I would open this place where I live
And let you feel it.

If I could and if you would
and if, in that moment, you should see me,
you would know

When the words and spaces don't let me,
give me the knife, the scalpel, the scissors – something sharp to open me up.
It's all in here, knotted and tangled between everything I love.
And you may not understand this but
sitting in the night with the rain
flowing over the window panes and
the light glaring through them,
I wanted you to see me.

I wanted you to know me.

Tonight, I don't need any stars.
Fuck the cautious moon.
I only need your warm hand inside,
up, under my ribs, holding me,
touching the only part alive in me.

Oh god, my skin and your hands and our hearts
and the blood must be so dark in the night that
we can't tell if it's the wine or the rain or the tears and it runs out of me and
through your hands.

The rain, it comes in heavy waves and
the car lights pulse as they pass by the window,
everyone holding their own hearts,
not knowing how to reach in and hold another but
wishing, like me, it were possible.

Can we understand that no one will ever know what our hearts feel like?

Just for a moment, though,
I wish you could hold me; know all of me
and then, with your knife
and these hands,
I would hold you too.

If I could, I would.

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