by Lea Marshall

Tilt back my head, begin at my chin
push your thumbnail firm
beneath my jaw, scoring
a sure line down my center—
my halves open like magical doors
swung wide before the adventurer.
Step through gleaming darkness
beneath my ribcage’s arch, push
your way through a forest
of viscera, beneath the heart
preoccupied with beating
until you come to my spine
at last. And if you pluck
the white vertebrae
gently with your fingertip
the heart will pause
amazed at your daring
hand, stop its constant
chatter, and outside
I will bloom in a red silence.

Photo: Lea Marshall
Lea Marshall is an MFA candidate in creative writing at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she is also Assistant Chair/Producer in the Department of Dance & Choreography. Her work has been published in, diode poetry journal, Moon Milk Review, and is forthcoming in Hayden’s Ferry Review. She lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband and two-year-old daughter.