I haven’t washed my hair in weeks, haven’t brushed my teeth in days, feeling that film under my tongue. I smell my armpits when I raise my arms. And I like it.
The animal in me likes the way I smell.
My hair has become a rat’s nest. My fingernails have grown brown, and you can see the lines in my palms, dark against light.
I could read my fortune in the dark lines of my palm. I bring my hand to my mouth and take a taste. It is slightly salty, smoky. There is a bit of grit that crunches between my teeth.
I am falling back into the earth. I am falling back into the earth and remembering who I am. I feel the sun on my belly, my breasts, my thighs. And I am pressed between the two, a menage-a-trois, held below, warmed above.
The crevices of me fill with earth.
In the lines of dark on white, I see a woman. Her body crisscrossed with inky lines, some dark and thick, some so thin it’s spiderweb on white paper. Milky globes where the ink does not stick, and dark rich patches where the ink has gathered.
You see the shape of her, the length of her. Her hair is wild wool of browns and reds and slivers of silver that catch the light.
And what you notice, envy, is how she stands, straight, and tall and proud. There is no curving in, no sucking up, no shrinking down, this woman of earth.
There is a circle of darkness at her navel, a pond to toss a penny into. And the yearning is so strong to touch her. To feel that skin, to trace her jaw, to bury a nose into the dips and crevices where her scent lingers.
She smiles, a deep welcoming smile. No need to be afraid, I am no secret, no mystery. I am only unknown.
She turns slowly and each facet is revealed. The curve of her breast, the angel wings at her back, the ripples of her spine that invite fingers to dance down to the base.
She is so beautiful this woman of the earth. What would it be, to let down all the barriers? To let go of all those whispers of shame.
She turns back around slowly. No rush, no hiding. Simply turns in her white and inky form. She holds her eyes steady. Don’t be afraid, don’t be ashamed of what you want to see, touch, taste, smell. There is nothing off limits, nothing wrong.
And so, it happens, from one moment to the next, I am inside, no longer outside. I am free to explore.
The silver scars of childbirth, the rosy nipples, the canoes that are her collar bones, the lines that are her laugh lines, grief lines. I reach up to touch the fabric of her hair. Coming even closer, so that each inhale is hers and mine. There is that moment when skin hovers against skin…
And then we are together. The ripples dance through me like an electric current. The curve of my belly touching hers, softening into each other.
I nuzzle her neck, cheek against shoulder, feeling hard planes and soft tissue. Her skin is warm, and scents of her rise up like smoke, all different flavors. I would follow them back, like threads to their source.
What a huge relief, a huge letting go, of so much held together, stitched up tight, wrapped up in ropes and chains and a millennium of shame.
What a gift, what an unimaginable softening, it is to be with this body. In complete adoration and love.
Pure, perfect. Mine.