trapped in skin i
make believe that opening it will
set me free.
slit breastbone to pubic bone and I will
somehow magically fight my way out
to freedom.
push my collarbones up like a
they may not have been meant to
but my ribs were built to bend.
like eve, i was built to bend.
and i have been biting apples since i knew
they might get me somewhere
even if it was kicked out of
but one winter i stopped eating apples
in the hope that i could become small enough to
unzip my spine, sneak between the vertebrae,
slip away unnoticed.
i have wanted out of the garden since i first saw the serpent.
i have wanted out of my body since i first saw my veins.
they are too vulnerable for my hands
to be around,
whoever made me should've known not to trust me
with weapons i cannot give away for safekeeping.
i am an apple-eater, i bend like a hairpin turn with
no indication of whether around the curve
is an accident or an on-purpose.
sometimes the things that start out as accidents turn
into on-purposes and
sometimes maybe scalpels just
find their ways into my hands of their own volition
as though
i am qualified to open veins for a living.

on the eve of the new year i told myself
this year i would not drink so much grief
with only lime and salt to chase it with,
i would not chew on anything bitter in the hopes that
it would shake me.
i closed my eyes like i was blowing out candles.
i have never had a talent for
lying with my eyes open and
i've never had a birthday wish come true.
but the more bitter pills i can find to swallow
the easier i find it to forgive;
i know how bitter feels when you saddle it
with unwell wishes and words
you might've said if you weren't a coward.
so when i put my mouth on the apple i make sure to
bite down
because i will never half-ass my self-betrayal.
it's the one thing you can trust me on.

i don't trust myself not to lie on any given eve but
this is the one thing that you can believe:
i will get out of paradise even if it means having to live with
every ribcage i have ever been imprisoned in.
i always thought i was only meant to bend,
but my veins make a river delta and delta means change.
maybe the courage is in the on-purposes.
maybe there is hope for my accidents yet.