by Sharanya Manivannan

The man with the heart that grew armor
took my breasts in his palms
and torn asunder, there, was

I took his bloody hands and
looked him in the eyes.
I am not a woman who must
prepare for sadness, I said.
I am not a woman who
cannot tell the place of the
original sin from the evil of its twin.

Crack me open, I said.
Take from me all I can give.

The god in me saw the god
in you. Our demons
saw each other too.

My heart is a cactus.
My heart has been waiting
for your stone. I’m as opaque
as the water
waiting within, flooded full
and capable
of unimaginable giving.

Come, ugly one.
Bring me your dirty paws
and your bearded countenance,
your blueness, your bliss. Bring me
nothing if that is all you are
capable of bearing.
I’ll take it all.
I’ll take every last


Sharanya Manivannan’s first book of poems, Witchcraft, was published in 2008 and her fiction, essays and poetry have appeared inDrunken Boat, Killing the Buddha, The Nervous Breakdown,Superstition Review, Pratilipi and elsewhere. She can be found online at www.sharanyamanivannan.com.