Now we look at them scattered between us, devastated.
This family of hearts is broken.
Our blood seeps, dripping thickly from the entrails of our lives. Our chests are cavities, eviscerated by loss. We stare at each other, our mouths slack and silent, our hearts a bloody mound at our feet.
I pull a beating muscle towards me. I grip it, feel it pulsating and wet between my fingers, not caring if it is mine. I push it into the space beneath my breastbone. I pull the ribs, sinews, muscles and skin together, closing the chasm, demanding the emptiness to be filled. One after the other, we choose a heart from the quivering pile until the ground is bare.
We rebuild our shelter. We stand tall again.
Our fingers bleed and blister, our muscles ache with the hard, bone-breaking work. But we do it. Together. For you. For us.