if they put me on the witness stand i
would tell the truth and say i always
knew what was planned for us; two magnets,
vibrating in proximity, your edges
glowing in the golden light of my
early morning kitchen, the crater in
my mattress where you sleep.
i was quiet and you were insatiable,
hoarding each word like an uncut gem.
i would tell of a hundred times where we
shone like smooth marble and a thousand more
where i threw myself on a cold chrome
table and pressed a diamond-edged
razor blade into your hand. i couldn’t
do it myself, i say, and show
the jury the dotted lines i drew in black
ink down my sternum and under my
ribs for you to open and see the proof,
the words caught in a tangle of bone
you mined and traded for your
fingerprints, waxy tattoos on the
walls of my butterflied chest.

Emily Gustafson is a graduate of Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and has a dual degree in English and Media & Cultural Studies with a minor in Hispanic Studies. She is also an actor, playwright, and nonprofit arts professional living and working in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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