I built you a home in my chest by clearing out everything that was useless. My skin was paper, so I cut it away into tiny shapes of cranes, and you smiled as my flightless birds floated on top of the bathwater. You watched them only long enough to see as they made their way from one end to the other, so I won’t blame you for not knowing that water and paper birds don’t exactly mix. My ribs were bleached chalk, so I turned them into the seasons. During the summer they became the white letters littering sidewalks and flat driveways. As Autumn soaked the leaves that shimmering amber of hard liquor, my ribs found root in your gardens and became your second bloom of pristine Candytuft. When winter gave you nothing but a bitterly bright tundra, my bones turned into powder, as soft as moonlight, to gently kiss your rosy cheeks. And when Spring finally came, I flattened what remained of my ribs into cherry blossoms. They were tinged the palest pink at the stem, but you didn’t seem to mind, so I ignored the color. Even as that pink began to run red, I didn’t stop. You were still smiling, with every petal that filled the air you were smiling so wide… so of course I couldn’t stop, couldn’t slow down….how could I, when I was making you smile?