They will consume you again and again through makeup ads and strip club billboards and violently pornographic dead-girl-in-a-bathtub detective shows that emblazon television screens like torches in night-dark houses, like a burning bush in suburbia. Look how sexy your corpse can look, though, bra strap torn across an ashen, blood-smeared shoulder blade. They will follow you around a Walmart even when you are pregnant, watching you. You will grow teeth in the soft places between your fingers, lace keys through them, learn where to strike, tear items off a shelf at a salvage store because some creep is staring at you from the end of an aisle with his dick in his hands –– eat grass, scream, make a scene. The animals are in cages, but all the monsters roam free.
Women’s bodies are border towns and colonized plains of color. They are fertile crescents, wastelands industrialized, commercialized, pipelined, run over, beaten, painted, pierced and labeled. Bodies are books, indecent, outlawed, defined by margins, erased and re-written with footnotes and constellations of memory in the vein-map below the skin, reaching and twisting blue toward the guts of us.
The words set on fire through the frail net of language are already running red through us, pulsing in our veins, holy and unseen. Our bodies are the communion in the church of the living.
There is a cave at the end of the world where all of the madwomen finger the black dawn red and bend back the bars of sanity until they curve like crescent moons, shining a wet gleam onto a mirrored sea. These are all the cast-off girls, the crazy women. They laugh at the insanity of antiseptic hallways, bleach-white, the stench of chemicals. Here, all of the greatest artists and poets and the broadest minds of history are called crazy within their own narrow time-sphere of eternity. Here, there are glass-walled cells where the women are neatly organized and separated, filed away like documents in plastic prisons.
One night a year ago, I let a four-foot long snake into my house myself, it was my own damn fault. The thing must have been lying on my step, but my dogs never saw it. They ran right over it, somehow kicking it up on my bare legs and in my horror, I slammed the door with the snake still inside. I screamed and ran, stood on top of my bed with my remaining idiot dog and called a 911 operator who put me on speaker phone because I was screaming so loudly; I could hear their echoing laughter between my panicked breaths. And it is funny now, but it was not funny then. Not in the least.