Tackleshop Floor

For as far of a lifetime as I have had I have waited to know

“Don’t tell Chris I gave this to you.” He said, “It was a gift from his uncle.”

And the blade swings free and locks easily enough

And the blade lies less than I do

And is far sharper than my remaining intellect

“I’ve never stabbed anything breathing before” I think

I reflect on how I prefer my meat slightly raw

Red dead flesh at the center, the taste of thousands of days of chewing cud, swinging tail, dull eyes, and being scratched behind the ear by a young farm boy who has not yet learned that one should not name next month’s meal

I hold the blade sideways, grasp it firmly in both hands and plunge it into my belly.

There’s a good ten years of easy living there

So I have to saw deeply pulling the blade in and out of the fat until I get into the real vital stuff

The tubes the shit and food run through spill out a little from my side as I saw and I have to take a moment to cut through the intestines several at a time

Drawing them out from my belly with my left hand and trimming through them with the right

I got a real good cut going now, deep and running from my side to almost my belly button

I would have preferred to swing my ribcage wide open for this one, but I haven’t the tools

Slippery stick goes the floor

Stickly slipper goes the handle of my blade

And I am moaning like a woman in labor, like a soldier in a movie calling for his mother, I am moaning like a dying man hacking open his own belly and dreaming of a whetstone

And I have a good sized gash, open, and winking, and seeping

And all I can think is that I am beautiful inside, that the smell is foul and a surprise like a much belated gift

And rubbery in goes my right hand deep and at first in little circles to widen the wound

And in and up it goes and I bend over and brace myself as I jam my arm up inside of me farther squeezing between blackened lungs to the prize

My teeth begin to crack jagged ivory and the fluid running from my smiling eyes tastes of pain

I am not sure of what I will withdraw but I feel it now in my grasp as my vision begins to grow tiger skin fuzzy at the edges

It is there and throbbing and pounding with the anticipation to finally be free

I begin to laugh mad hatter as I get a firm grasp on the pulsating thing and yank axe handle hard to rip it free and I stand and guffaw “aaaww-huh-hahaha” as I draw it from the tear in my belly

I had dared not expect a dove

I had greatly feared a glowing coal in a small handmade ashtray

I have dreamt it would be the snarling head of an angry housecat

Or the black speckled tongue hanging from my dog’s mouth before the shroud and the shovel

I have dreamt it could be a handful of unpitted olives, a jet black squid that would wrap its tendrils around my hand as I grasped it and feed on my flesh when I collapsed

I have feared it would be a rebuilt alternator coated and running in oil

I have not dared to hope it would be a small violin, or a wooden boy

But it is just a heart

Not black, no keyhole, not onyx, or shining, or minute, or overly hot

It is purple and red, and blue and dead

“I…”

“I just had to be sure.”

I gasp as the eyes go marbles, and the knees go buckles

“At last I’m finally certain…”

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