a little moment between a man and a woman
If you really were dead I would not know – I would not know where to look for your body. Maybe I would find it in a wood.A dark wood.
I would be there, playing with fear, looking to goad the bogie-man, the mass murderers, the rapists. I, excited by the shadows, excited at the thought of being lost, aroused at the thought of being taken.
Running through the trees, practising being chased, rehearsing my silent scream – I fall over, tripped by a solid frozen entity. I sit, my skin hurt, cut and bleeding. I weep.
On the floor you lay, on your back naked, a bruise appearing on your rib cage where my foot kicked you. Seaweed in your hair – you had found a little boat on the shore and decided to go out into the Ocean and leave me on the beach.
I talked with you on the beach exactly as you wished, as you demanded. Telling you things. Answering your many twisting questions. Satisfied your attention turned to other things. Collecting seashells and flirting with the young and handsome men. The Ocean always was a place of forgetfulness and rejuvenation, but this time it would not have me and spit me out. Fate appointed me to be your stumbling stone, to slow you down, your stepping stone, to a sacred place.
The young men on the shore, fishermen, with broad shoulders, sun kissed warm skin, wide clear backs, unmarked and a blank canvas.
They laugh and are jolly; bodies satisfied after manual toil. The sleep of a labourer is sweet. Their hands knarled, hard and strong; old hands that do not match their young bodies. I tease them and say “Your hands are so big…you could fit one hand around my neck!?” They giggle and put a hand up, taking it in turns whose hand fits best around under my chin. I am in raptures and swoon but remain playful and girl-like so not to scare.
They show me how to gut a fish, adept and quick with their knives. Innards and blood spills. The knife – changed their role, their purpose, their meaning – what was once alive, is now dead, what once was a fish is now just food. I watch the quickness of the blade and the discarding of the mer-corpses into the bucket with their peers. A man says “What’s his problem?” pointing to the pale naked man laying on the shingle, un-moving, unresponsive. “Oh Him………he is special”.