I slice my belly open with a carpet knife, treacle spilling over my thighs and between them. The carpet is soaked with blood and stained purple.
“Why?” you ask with widening eyes and tilting head.
“It’s a worthwhile thing to do,” I say. “And because it requires an openness that doesn’t come naturally, it’s the only worthwhile thing to do.”
I peel back my skin, exposing the soup of me and my brisket. I lean so the looser parts fall forward and onto the floor. Hand over hand I yank ropes of intestines from my yawning midsection until there’s a sticky pile tangled at my feet, dark and stiffening.
Fluids flushed, I take hold of my ribs and pry them apart exposing my tocking heart. With both hands, I wrench the chubby organ from my chest stillborn, drop it on the rug and it rolls, things sticking to it: lint, fuzz, a receipt.
You stand waiting like a bride. “Climb in” I say. Then slowly, with measured steps, you approach. Gripping your shoulders I pull you headlong into me. Of course it’s more strenuous than that, but the end effect is you folded into me. And while I manage to stitch myself back together, I feel you swimming toward my center.
Eric Bennett lives in New Jersey with his wife and four children. He loves trees without leaves and the silence between songs on vinyl records. His work appears in numerous literary and art journals including Writer’s Bloc, Fiction at Work, Prick of the Spindle, Ghoti Magazine, and PANK.