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Heat inside burns through sleek black shirt
with pencil tip, I open ruined garment
graphite slices into surface of my skin
peel back, peel back, exposing pack of ribs
tucking up to second knuckle
yank and crack
til ribcage stands ajar
squeeze heart inside to burst upon the page
splatter blood and love and words
in equal parts.
Throat choked with emotion
spit self out onto paper
wait for drainage through the pencil.
Love and light leak out
blood drips as slow molasses
then seal my soul with signing of my name;
shirtless, empty, turn away
knowing I will soon be full again.