Have you ever wondered what you’d find if you took
your two hands and placed them on my chest and with force,
just enough force my love, pulled it apart and wide open?
I should spare you the gore and the stains on your perfect
hands and tell you instead what would be discovered
beneath this skin and these creaking ribs that have
fought so long to keep the heartbeat inside and the pace slow.
Through the blood and bone and the broken breath of
my battered body you will find so many things you never would
have looked for.
I’ve no doubt in my mind that you will find the residue
of our conversations and the fragments, the small
remains of a lifetime of skipped heartbeats.
You will find the silhouette of shared kisses and
sparklers in the late summer air. The breath that used to
hang above your lips in the cold of morning and the moonlight
and the sound of shuffling feet dancing beneath it.
Look, closer and ignore the red upon your fingertips.
Look, and find the sound of laughter under the covers
and the way your hair smells fresh from a shower.
It’s there, and it’s covered with giant snowflakes
that seem to fall inside me in slow motion
and the flash of the lightning that struck me but spared me
and left me alive to hold you.
Pull harder and reach and risk the scrapes on your knuckles
from the jagged ribs that threaten your advance.
Reach and find the space and invisible thread that connects
the center of your eyes to the center of mine
when we stare at each other. Find the words.
I promise there will be words and the ink will cover the
red on your palms and you will never understand how many
fit inside me, how many can come tumbling out.
A magician you will swear I must be and words will be
the scarf that just never seems to stop. Pull and pull
and get to the bottom of the words and find
the last word that has been at the bottom of the pile
since I started collecting them all in my chest.
Find the word and smile that smile that only you
can smile when you realize that word is, and was,
and always will be You. You.
It’s there where it should be and it’s draped with the way
your hand feels on my skin and the rattle of thunder
against the walls, the raindrops on my skin.
I will feel your hands, cold against the warmth
inside me and you will feel the flapping of the birds
and butterflies, their wings stirring the dust
that collected in the time I spent waiting for you.
Feel them fly past the broken ribs and across your
open palms and close your eyes as they create the breeze
that will tickle your cheeks. Take your hands now,
place them on my chest and find yourself ready
and willing and more than completely
able to discover and set free
all that lives inside me.