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by Sharanya Manivannan

  • The man with the heart that grew armor
  • took my breasts in his palms
  • and torn asunder, there, was
  • mine.
  • I took his bloody hands and
  • looked him in the eyes.
  • I am not a woman who must
  • prepare for sadness, I said.
  • I am not a woman who
  • cannot tell the place of the
  • original sin from the evil of its twin.
  • Crack me open, I said.
  • Take from me all I can give.
  • The god in me saw the god
  • in you. Our demons
  • saw each other too.
  • My heart is a cactus.
  • My heart has been waiting
  • for your stone. I’m as opaque
  • as the water
  • waiting within, flooded full
  • and capable
  • of unimaginable giving.
  • Come, ugly one.
  • Bring me your dirty paws
  • and your bearded countenance,
  • your blueness, your bliss. Bring me
  • nothing if that is all you are
  • capable of bearing.
  • I’ll take it all.
  • I’ll take every last
  • bulletproof
  • offering.

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