the cleaving of a woman

Written by Emma Flynn
Art by Kyle Johnson


there are sections
to the cleaving
of a woman;
rules must
be fulfilled

first, sever
her limb from limb,
but leave the
desirable parts:
the curl of the leg,
the swell of the breast,
the pout of the lips-
remove only what
you don’t like

second, slice
her quickly– collarbone
to navel;
watch her open
for you,
skin unfurling as though
she were the wings
of a butterfly;
the bust of a moth
(ignore any tears)

third, sew
yourself back to her,
as though you will
never be apart.
mold your bones
to hers–
lock your skin
to hers;
she can’t be yours
unless she’s tied down

fourth, wound
her to watch her bleed;
the way it trickles
down
the curl of the leg,
the swell of the breast,
the pout of the lip-
swear to her that
love splits, that love
aches.
she’s marvelous
only when she’s
yours
she’s beautiful
only when she
bleeds

fifth, marvel at your
genius.
the medical feat
of the woman
before you–
of the women who
are next.
take pride in being the
men of ruination;
it is the oldest tradition
we know

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