Necessity

feel our fingers laced together in the space between us and imagine forty-eight ribs knit as a single torso; three lungs between us swelling in unison; a single heart straining as it beats for both, failing even now in the sleep drawn over us as a blanket, its chambers and valves such an imperfect mirror of themselves— and i, by lottery of birth, gifted the larger part, the left side: i cleanse your blood, i give you breath, i hold you closed. you must know, somewhere in the parts we share, in the darkness of closed eyelids, in our faltering rhythms, that every ticking minute you claim is a stolen one of mine recanted before judge and executioner as they trial your theft in absentia. here in my bloodied hand the scalpel awaits decision, poised to sever.

Amy Kinsman