I met her four nights ago,
she had grass growing out of her mouth,
a bee sting on her left eyelid. She talked, at length, but with a visible difficulty.
I…I listened- the difficulty on my part however existent was none evident.
I heard nothing.
Dutifully I would mummble and sigh out responses whenever any were needed.
What were I to say, excatly. what.
She told of all the old people. People she knew, people who knew her; her sole references to who she was, who she is; inspirational torches to who she should be.
She spoke of star wonders, night life, and night time; she told me about open-air-fires lit by families on the hills every night-“street lights”. About musical drums of worship alerting all to a tree or structure, a red stone-dust used by all women and girls- a powder. She revealed details about a magical root plant which could and did whiten teeth in a space of three minutes of use; “milky white. like that”, she said.
She bared flowers planted on both sides of her chest and lower abdomen.
There were tiny black spots dotting her dark-brown thighs. These, she whispered, predicted the number of children she were to bear, if she ever decided to. “Twins or tripplets? A malfuction…?” I could have asked, but I had commited to a ‘no qtns asked’ set.
She spoke in whispers. she spoke with nostalgia: “all them dead. every single one of them: people, plants, appropriate priorities, simple knowledges, freedoms,…………. everything. every one. I loved them, they loved me too. However I came too late. I arrived at a time of their exist…”
and with that she stopped.
Stopped speaking as if she never had.
As if she never has ever spoken.
Flowers blooming on her chest and lower abdomen, her left eyelid soaked in bee poison, fresh grass growing out of her mouth; she was a reflected image of myself. The little old girl me.
– black china