What Lies Inside


I’ve always wondered what would happen if you busted me open, rather if you explored what lies inside. Not anatomically, of course, but emotionally, and figuratively, I wonder what has found its way into my being. If you opened me up, what would fall out? What would stay lodged and trapped within me? Would it be the words I’ve absorbed and memorized? Would you find the hiding place of all those skipped heartbeats? I wonder if, when you looked past my bones, if you would see my heart. Not the one that keeps my body functioning, but the one that keeps my soul wandering. I wonder if you would find the broken fragments left behind after I chipped off pieces to give to you, pieces I hope you’ve kept safe. Would you find the strings we’ve heard about? Do they intertwine into knots or are they loose with the many times they’ve been drawn in sharply and released?

If you followed the trails my bones create, would you recognize the whites of my knuckles from when I grip your hand so tightly? Would you follow them to my core, down to who I really am?

I wonder if you looked under the layers of exterior, if you would find all the times we jumped off roofs with our fingers clutching to each other and to the fear of impact. I wonder if you’d see where my muscles and tendons contracted to keep pace with you; and to keep distance.

I wonder if you cracked open my skull, would you find all my dreams, both the ones I remember and the ones forgotten. Would you see the hiding place of my idle thoughts; sending each other out like spies, creeping their way into my mind, distracting me from reality for fleeting moments. Would you find the closet where my fears are locked away? 

And I wonder if you took a peek inside my lungs if you would see the bruises from the times you squeezed me so tight I couldn’t breathe and made me laugh so hard my lungs stretched to find the air they needed. 

I wonder, sweetheart, if you peeled back my layers like an onion, could you see the place where your words are stored. The place where I keep every note and letter, every poem and lyric, both the ones I’ve adored and the ones I’ve tried to forget. If you gazed at the veins running through my interior, would you see the cursive lines and the road maps we’ve drawn? Would you discover how many words I can hold; how many I can keep trapped in my ribcage, right next to my heart. I wonder if you reached inside, if the words would try to escape, or if their bindings to my heart would keep them steady. 

Perhaps the only thing I truly wonder is whether or not you would you see in me what I already know is there. What would I find if I cracked you open too?


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