Wednesday, October 22, 2014

When I was a child, I took a sip of perfume. I wanted to become one with scent, and loose my secrets. I read the label on the bottle and it spoke of poison. I went outside and built myself a wall of snow and lay on my back behind it, letting large flakes melt on my nose, breathing slowly, waiting to die.

The locks creaked and the gears turned, but life throbbed in me, persisted.The mind followed shadow-shapes into dark corners. The body turned to fire. A multitude of fragile white crystals sifted onto the ground while I burned. 

I turned a thousand thousand pages and swam in the voices of psalms. Again and again I climbed my tree and searched for a sign in her wind-ruffled branches. A candle, a prayer, an ache, an ice princess. 

Within my cave, I hoarded the coin of pain, and greedily guarded this bed. I let the curtain fall on my tears, and slept. In a dream, perched on a dizzy stone balcony, I felt the earth calling. A child cried. I turned away from the edge, back to my slumbers.

Let us suppose there were a child of flame, whose mouth, instead of words, formed lances that pierced like the screams of a juvenile eagle. For the sake of such a child, Inanna herself would march naked through the seven doors of the underworld, and be hung on a hook, until she found his voice. 

But what if her sister Ereshkigal said, Wait. First you must feed me. And Inanna would say, What do you want, sister? I'll bring you anything. Ripe persimmons. The rarest of silks. No, her sister would say. I want you to remain. Here. Dig. Let the blood from your wounds drip into the ground. And keep on digging until a spring appears. First, give me a drink, and then bring him the cup.

And what if we both drank from this spring, and found our voices together, this child and I?

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