a ribcage drenched in dust

i have your ribcage, you said.
what should i put in it?

i told you i’d always wanted a fire,
the kind that would fill my eyes with starlight
and pump my blood full of passion, but

you’re made of wildflowers, you said.
a fire would burn you to ash.

you wanted to fill my chest with
the sound of a train, whistling
far away in the night;
with the sound of rain smacking leaves;
with the sound the wind makes
when it sounds like it’s trying to speak

and you wanted to throw in the
smell of midnight in august
and the feeling of sand being
sucked out from under your feet
when the ocean inhales,
and the strange little moment of
bittersweet joy you get when
someone else puts your soul into words
and you realize you’re not as alone as you thought.

i told you that if i had all that inside me,
i’d ache all the time
and you smiled a sad little smile,
because you already knew that ache.
because you were a writer, and you ached all the time.

i’ve got it, i said.
tell me a story. tell me the truest story you know.

and you brightened.
and leaned in.
and filled my ribcage with a story.

it was only three words long,
but it did the trick.

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