Once upon a different life, I held your heart in my hand. Blood dripped between my outstretched fingertips, marking a crimson trail towards the crook of my elbow. I watched your valves beating, the blood vessels breathing, in slow motion. You fell to your knees in front of me. Chest heaving and eyes blinking. Your voice nothing but a vaporized whisper spilling into my ears. You told me this is what you wanted. That you only ever asked one thing of me.
Have mercy on the body with only one heart
I tried to give it back. Tried to place it back inside your excavated, eviscerated chest. But you wouldn’t let me. You said you cannot take back what has already been given. I tried, desperately, to protest. Tried to prove that you were no longer whole. You had been torn in two and I had done the shredding. My blood stained hands, the ever present culprit. And yet, you smiled at me. Bared your teeth like you bared your soul. The same soul you said that was wrapped up in me. Inside my body, inside every inch of me. Through the pours in my skin, from the lids of my eyes, to grooves between my ribs.
I close my eyes now and feel the rhythm of your heart in my hand and the heart that is no longer mine. I feel you move towards me. The motion increasing my breathing. I feel your hand on my chest, your fingers brushing my clavicle. In a swift motion, your hand tenses. Clenches as your fingers dig in. The flesh tears, the blood bursts and your hand reaches inside. You whisper, open your eyes. When I do, your whole body pulls back. Ripping organs and muscles and pushing aside bone. I look down and see our matching blood soaked fissures, in your hand the still beating organ.
I feel myself fading. The blood loss too great. The expulsion too taxing. I fall towards the floor, my free hand breaking my fall. The hollow inside my chest deepens. I feel the bones grind against each other, the muscles straining, begging for restoration. Before the darkness envelops me completely, I place the heart in my hand inside the ever growing chasm.
Just before my eyes shut, I feel my flesh stitching itself back together.