- Alan Ward
I unzip my chest from navel to neck,
sending nipples cross-eyed as I strip my skin.
I unbutton muscle from bone –
pop open the bonnet of my ribcage.
I rip through tangled red threads, some thin as silk,
as cotton; some as thick as rope.
They lead me to that thudding organ –
bloody battery slipping in my hands,
swollen with red oil as I disconnect it, unwed it
from my worn out, scrap heap shell.
I clutch it between two palms. Crush it,
tilt it like a jug. Pour out my heart.
First published in Writers' Forum in March 2010, where it won first prize in their regular poetry competition.