Dirty Life #1

They call her witch, we call her house. House is the free haven. Her words sing and those who speak are heard. Deep inside her belly was the gate. The gate that led us to the waiting room. In the beginning the waiting room was boundless. We found each other without seeking and entwined without longing. One and one is one. But with each heartbeat the walls grew closer and closer, until the only way we could move was out. That day the egg of the world was born, the egg we had to brood and hatch by ourselves, so we wouldn't belong to anyone, so we wouldn't perish in the egg.

Life is still green today. Crickets jump singing into the frog's mouth and frogs croak their song in the stork's long orange beak. Wolves and foxes take off their coats and sacrifice them to our nakedness. The lamb puts an apple in its mouth, roasts itself and offers its flesh on a bed of forest strawberries and wild potatoes. The lion eats with knife and fork and burps behind his paw. Misery hasn't been invented yet. Everyone eats everyone and no one is angry. At night in the woods the cat brides are screaming. Pain is love. Paradise is now.

"House, may we go outside?"

"As long as you're back in before light."

The egg is broken, the night is no longer enough. The world is born in us and we behold the world all around us. Our bodies fit together like a knife in a wound. We're drunk from each other and from the sun. The eggshells drift off down the river and flow with their silent message to the village called City. For a long time we knew nothing of the villagers. House took us deep inside herself whenever they came by. Now they smell that we've grown the feelings and our feelings are drumming on theirs. The smell of moon blood and virgin blood, swelling blood and murder blood screams through their heads and drives them outside.

We hear their restless eyes whispering in the bushes all around us. Their hands strangle the air that we breathe. The heat curses them and they pronounce the curse upon us. They see us doing what they've been dreaming of. The village virgins burning behind their membranes are the first to come out of the bushes. Hordes of girls and boys wind themselves around the trees and whisper poems about eternal love and communion. We pluck them from the branches and eat their apples and pears. The juice of their fruits drips on the forest floor and everywhere the drops fall, forked green stalks shoot out of the ground, growling, groping their way up. Horns and tails fill the forest. The undergrowth catches alight and out of the fire break the words, the filthy lecherous words, the barking that jumps at our throats.

The villagers hunt us down with pitchforks and spears, drag us to their temple and throw us in a cage. The high priest speaks of God's will. He understands God's word and God doesn't like us. Our silence is of the devil. Brood of witches is what we are. Magnets of evil. We're corrupting the youth. Old men are foaming at the brain. Dried up ladies are flowing again. Everyone hungers for flesh. The commandments are dying out. The village must cut out the evil from its midst. Only then can the sin be buried and forgotten.

The high priest goes round with the holy suckle until the entire herd is overflowing with love. "Now that we're all full of the truth, we shall pour out our compassion over these two lost sheep. Do you have anything to bleat before you die?"

Two turtledoves fly up from our throats. They land on the swollen nipple of the altar. They kiss each other and let their white dung run down over the holiest of holies. The name of God reverberates through the temple and the word stinks like it's been excreted and eaten up again a thousand times.

The executioner ties us to opposite ends of the cage and feeds us a brew of mistletoe, hemlock, amanita and bittersweet nightshade. "Drink my little hearts, drink, no there's no blindfold, you might try to escape... Quiet now, the lights will soon go out forever and the village we call City will be itself once again."

We look into our eyes. The feet are the first to die, the coldness rises from belly to heart. I'm still alive, look at me, look into me, see me dissolving into you... But where is we? Your gaze is dead. For the first time you are you and I have become me. Wait for me, I'm so alone. Your flight is so much more bitter than their drink. The darkness encloses me. You are nowhere and I wander about aimlessly, angry for the first time.

All words and images copyright 2008 by Vanita & Johanna Monk

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