Feeding stillness with life

–Do you have the rabbit legs?

–Yes, I do. It wasn’t easy. The rabbits were running very fast.

–How about the mort twine?

–Yes, one, from the old man selling spring onion and tomatoes at the corner of our house.

–That should do. Have you been followed?

–No. I have the other thing as well.

–What other thing? Oh, that other thing. Good girl.

–I want him to love me.

–He will. You know what to say?

–Yes, mother.

–And when to say it?

–Yes, mother.

–Alright, then. Everything goes in the metal box, and then under the oak tree. Tomorrow night. Not the menstrual blood. That goes in his stew.

–Yes, mother.

*

I now have his head. It looks rather odd without its hands, feet, and torso. I placed it in our garden, where the birds usually pause to take a deep rest on a warm afternoon or to hide from the rain. Despite the head’s decomposing state, there is a glowing aspect to it. It reminds me less of my man when he was alive and more of the animal craniums that one finds in the depths of the forest if one has the time to search for something like that. I caress carefully the skin left on my man. I wish I could sing to him, what an act of love you’ve offered me, bless it be, bless it be’ and I start singing, surprising myself, for I’ve never sung before. There in my garden I promise to remain worthy of my new life, and the birds flying around must agree with me, which explain their continuous clamour.

There is a small forest growing inside the cranium. The cranium is embroidered with tulip petals, wings of moths and butterflies, pages of old books smelling of vanilla glue and mildew, curled yellow nails, and long strands of black hair, hair that is not exactly hair, but a new and unnamed type of flora—the result of excellence and dedication. It should bother me, but its miasma is comforting—pungent, similar to a sweaty scalp.

Everything inside the skull is dead tissue, except for the pink lump which has the tiniest heart I have ever heard beating. I have spent so many of my days putting her together—yes, it’s a her, I’ve made sure of that—and now I’m waiting to see signs of movement. It’s too soon to tell how long this could take. At this moment, I can only hear her breathing if I move my ear closer, but I’m not sure if it’s actual breathing I hear or simply the soft wind guiding nature to feed this still life.

Inside my house, I inhale deep, over and over again, the smoke coming from an incense stick, praying for forgiveness and perhaps for a cure. Inside my flesh there’s what I feared the most—a visitor that has found its way into me when I wasn’t paying attention. This is not the product of my imagination, for I saw her once, six months ago, when I woke up during the night due to overheating. The sheet under me was so damp, I thought I’d wet myself, so I went to the bathroom to freshen up. In the large mirror is where I saw her for the first and last time, or parts of her—sharp fangs, long yellow nails, black hair. I have wondered since why I did not react in any way. I only stood there, unblinking. I knew who she was, or rather what she was, and by then there was nothing I could do to chase her away. If only she wouldn’t live in my womb.

I have not thought about her in some time. I do not feel entirely well—what does she want this time? Strangely, I can hear the wind asking me to come out, to go and check the pink lump—it’s still there, inside my man’s skull and all seems calm for now. Be strong, I say assuming the lump can hear me, as I face the struggle of being alone with my visitor for a great number of days. I must learn how to do this by myself, until the new life is old and wise enough to take care of me.

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