Tender Machine by Wendy C. Ortiz in 4th Street, November/December 2001, Inlet Press, Olympia, WA

My heart is brittle. I open it up & little pieces flake off, tinged gold and amber. I beckon you in. You stand, looking on at the mess my heart’s making, the pieces fluttering by in the wind. I close the door gently, without a sound, when too much falls away, crisp and veiny, dry as your hand. And when I throw open its doors again, my heart knows the season, breaks off ice crystals, luminous, to woo you with.

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