Flesh, Bone, and A Speculum

by | Apr 9, 2024 | Fiction, Issue Thirty-Eight

I’ve crawled up and inside my mind, and I chew meaning between my teeth for breakfast in a world that has lost herself.

It was a Tuesday.

We’re all surviving corpses, dragging flesh around from day to day and stowing our unsightly demons as we brush our teeth and wash our faces for the work week. We yearn for distractions as we eschew ourselves further from the actual art of life. Living. Steeping instead in the ethereal fray of existence. Existing is not living. Advertisers know this, and they profit off the deliberate use of words like reality TV and virtual influencers, all marinated in the fiction of absurdities (but hey, I have this fancy yellow face cloth touted to be life-changing for skincare that someone with perfect pores recommended on Instagram—so I added it to my cart and checked out with Apple Pay), and the real news—so horrific most flee from the responsibility of our shared waking humanity. We shake our heads, point our fingers, and drag our flesh around a little more, toting judgment on our shoulders. The load is heavy. Bags of bones day after day. I’m no exception, a shell of want and need. My mind eats loss.

I held human life in my womb for weeks and wondered if I could wear my skin as a thing of beauty again, pave the way for new life. Forsythia budding on the branches as women on social media try to steal youth. But my womb was weak and expelled the very hope, shedding the tissue of round-cheeked, rosy visions I’d had. 

It was a Tuesday when they carved the rest of me out. Grief is a strange thing.

We have to move on, but I tote flesh.

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