S  e  c  r  e  t  s    blackmail press 24
Rae Pater
New Zealand

Rae Pater has been published online and in print. She has three children and a cat named Gus. She spends far too much time in front of a computer, and her bio needs some serious work. Rae has completed a B.A in English literature and is currently training as an adult literacy tutor.
Open Casket

They're cutting your chest
open as I write this.
The surgeon's knife draws lines
precise as the strokes of my pen.

I wonder how they crack the ribs
of a body so sturdy?

Now they're opening the encasement
of the most sacred chamber, never
meant to survive such violation.

Will they read the names of your daughters
scribed on walls of muscle, so much wetter
than they look on charts and diagrams?

Will they hear secrets
gathered during a lifetime
whisper through aorta and mitral,
startled by the advent of light and air?

They'll bind you back together
with their meaty hooks,
more like a butcher sewing a rolled roast
than a mother's careful stichery.

But can your generous heart
forgive this insult?

Perhaps it will wither away
at being incarcerated again,
now that it has basked
in the forbidden joy of light.


The distance between us grows.
Another anniversary has passed
and I should be comfortable
in my new bed now softenings
have developed under me.

But still I wake some mornings
and know that my fingers
dreamed of your skin again.