when the lungs collapsed
I broke the rip cage open
and set the black smoke
free from the bronchioles

I dug my nails through tender skin
until keratin met bone narrow
tearing out bits of bits
of what broke off
during open surgery

a hole as wide as a fist
just left under the sternum
is where finger pads met pericardium
tapped the membrane
to the echo of the heart
and ripped it out

in two palms lies what remains
from what I dug free
it’s beats are sorrowful
and fading slow
in time to the blood crisping up
along the wounds
of a body that sold it’s soul