Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Percussion: The Skinless Hand Reached Up Toward My Neck

Downloadable mp3 file / podcast.

The skinless hand reached up toward my neck. It started to squeeze. I felt my tongue swell. The contractions continued. They were hard. They were premature. Foreboding nothing by terror and misery, I dreaded the moment of actual childbirth.

When it happened, I was suffused by nausea; not the normal nausea that accompanies extreme pain, but the nausea that accompanies extreme grief.

With one flesh-ripping contraction, the bag of wet tissue forced its way out of me. I felt something's tongue on my ear. I heard the thick, foul promises, the torpid wad of dreams.

I looked down. Half-expecting a birth-cry, I was not at all expecting what I saw. The sac fell open. Dry dust, ash, and the char from burned hair whoofed up, making a miniature mushroom cloud of unspeakable stench.

And then I heard something I would never forget, for as long as I might live. It was the bone-clatter; the clatter of dry bones falling to the floor as my body expelled what it could in the childbirth process. Marimbas. Steel drums. Soft castanets.

The skeleton was terribly deformed, but one could still see what it was.

The most horrible thing, besides the deformity, was the fact that it was completely dry. The sac itself was wet, but inside was a landscape as dry as the inside of a mechanically inflated balloon.

And then, I hemorrhaged blood and a clear fluid that looked like glycerine, but smelled vaguely like mint.