Heart Cracker by Katherine Du

We write to wreak havoc on whitewashed space. We sing to move fat-lipped Sirens to tears. Jealousy and defeat, we have them painted on our fingernails in licorice strings so that we can fill the gaps between them. 

Like magnetic rings of shelved mercy, we will ensnare your no-good 3:00 AM fantasies in our punctured web. We will weave those beasts into nothingness. We will make demons and angels alike pay for their sins because we know. We have number-crunching slayers beached under our ashen fingertips to unleash.

We know what you know, you know.

It is you who doesn’t know what we know. It is you who fumbled through stolen nights like a broken wind-up car, five rotations away from a broken soul. It is you who made the empty breadbasket, the armrests on too many sides our sweet companions, yet it is also you, our darling, who used to sing silk-smooth melodies to lull us neck-high in dreams. It is you who we believed could spin miracles from a foot of dusty toilet paper, fifty-eight square feet of bloodied sheets. It is you whose pat-pat footsteps up lonely stairs made our heart settle and cool like an icebox, a silence that made us shiver at how eight letters could be infinite. 

It is you, too, whose tears once felt like our own drops of blood. We would have given every inch of our lives for you to fill with words or songs or psalms even though we aren’t Christian, especially because we aren’t Christian. We would have let you use our skin for parchment, our blood for golden ink. We would have smiled as you pierced the first fountain pen through. We would have tasted the filthy braids on the noose-like rope, and we would have pretended it was ambrosia all for you, only for you.

You would have transformed us into a geisha. We would have mirrored you, a moving piece of art, but underneath our powdered glory, we would have sweat. We would have bled. We have something more to us, you see, something that the screaming hollow beneath your painted lips would have never understood.