The key is to repeat the motions so often they no longer feel like a drill. I work the runs, slowly, and patiently, curling my body toward the keys until the notes have lost their surprise. Of all the things I have tricked my body into accepting, this one thing is of my own making. Soon the mind forgets.
Women and girls crossing borders are open wounds. Subjugated, enslaved, mutilated. Because they are viewed as lesser and disposable by governments, tribal groups, gangs. Because they possess soft pink flesh. The wetness of vulvas, the plumpness of labias, the quivering of clitorises, the pulsing of vaginas. They absorb the misdirected pain of patriarchy until their battered bodies collapse, until fleeing is the only available option.
MIFLEZET is standing on the corner, beside a stone arch that leads from the marketplace to the narrow alleyways of the neighborhood in which she lives.
We zoom in on the long raggedy red sweater she's wearing, thrown on top of ammonia stained sweats, basically (admit it) her pajamas.
She has just bumped into an old friend.
In the background, as they catch up, loudspeakers blast words of mourning, perhaps for the illustrious rabbi who died yesterday, and whose funeral procession will depart from just down the road.
Tens, no, hundreds, of ultra-Orthodox men and boys, are - she wants to think of a more neutral word, but this is the one that emerges: swarming- through the arch, towards the procession.
As they pass by MIFLEZET and her old friend, the men and boys remove their black hats and cover their faces.
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.