When I am flying in my dreams it’s like I’m swimming in the blackest milk. Nourishing but cold, cloistered in the phosphoresence , like God’s fingers are swirling the watery deep, leaving traces of atoms behind. Cracked shells, spontanous decay, like when you turned water into wine, when I realized you didn’t love my mind, just my body. It was okay if there was enough red wine, mirroring my blood, its channels swelling the way you swelled, telling me to keep my hands on the table, tilting me up in my red satin heels.
Before I knew you, I could tell you were coming closer. Swimming laps, I could feel the earth turning, the attraction of chromodynamics pushing through space. The first time we touched, despite my many reservations, it felt right. I couldn’t sleep without being with you, cock-choked, even though your face, lit by morning, betrayed its hedonism, the debauched emperor with a fleshy chin.
My soul still dreams of a ghost-town. The place where I lived my girlhood does not exist anymore. Lakes full of seaweed and tree sloths with curved claws, fan coral, brain coral, and bleached turtle bones. Once my father caught an eel, it curved up the fishing line and writhed in the moonlight like a caduceus.
I played behind a simple clapboard church with old tombstones to the right and to the left a playground with two metal horses on springs and a witch’s hat on chains, monkey bars, a slide. When it rained, the dirt under the witch’s hat became a bog and big fat tadpoles would suddenly appear. Running around the perimeter with the metal hoop in my hand, bare feet hitting the ground, then springing from the dirt, swinging swiftly around and avoiding the swampy murk with its pulsing life, some shaped like sperm, others like newts, all heading towards their destiny as a throbbing chorus of song. All of this is no more, replaced by legions of hungry spirits during this sixth extinction cycle.
When we were a new couple, we’d drive to the coast, the sky a broody midnight blue, rushing over long bridges with flashing red blinking lights. It felt so good to be a passenger, to feel the vibration through the floor, the attraction of protons and neutrons. I could listen to you expound on whatever caught your fancy, Wilco singing in the background,
“Against the weather dawning
Over the sea.”
You said you had never felt this way before, completely fulfilled, spoiled. We stood by a huge whale skeleton, cold wind rushing in on the inexorable waves. You whispered hot near my ear, “I’ve never had such an appetite.”
“Outside I look lived in
Like the bones in a shrine”
When I was pregnant you called me The Aquarium. She was long and lean and wiggled like a salmon. You could see my torso ripple. There’s so much extra blood flow, extra heat and juice. We were as heady as prairie voles. The electrical repulsion didn’t happen until after we had her.
“Something sad keeps moving
So I wandered around”
I didn’t want to be induced even though it would have been convenient for you. You didn’t want to wait. You didn’t understand why I wouldn’t take drugs. You held it against me that I wouldn’t use formula. “It would have been easier on us.”
“I fell in love with the burden
Holding me down”
When the baby slept I tried to connect with you through your hunger. I couldn’t find the person you were, the one I loved, a sort of sun dazzled, blinking being, so happy to find me. I wonder who you are, this rogue bear, starving. I am filled up with so much of you. Your fingers in my mouth.
“Bless my mind I miss
Being told how to live”
I’ve stopped eating. You can fold me in anyway you want, my belly convex and burning, bent, tied. No mind, fill me up, no light, fill me up, just rhythm, like the sea.
A sacrificed body washed up on your shore. No thought, worship family, no thought, ego-less, no thought, let me serve you, just buffeting. There is sometimes tenderness that I consume like the blackest milk.
Linda Rand is an artist living in Portland, Oregon. She has been published in Nailed Magazine, Unchaste Anthology Volume I. as well as anthologies Places Like Home, City of Weird and The People’s Apocalypse, with non-fiction journal excerpts in the forthcoming Fuck Happiness: How Women Are Ditching the Cult of Positivity and Choosing Radical Joy by Ariel Gore. Her artwork has been included in PDX Magazine and the book Oneira: I Dream the Self.
Featured Image Credit: “Palimpsest Poetry,” Linda Rand