Orient

Say you have seen inside your body. Your organs have hit the light of day, a film that couldn’t be more out of focus. Say you are ashamed of what you see and of what is growing inside you, sore and orange as a nectarine. Sometimes it is a matter of one small thing, a gift to send away with a friend. Or to take the morning slow, making calls the way the birds do, to know the others are all safe, in their places. September’s sister-quiet, when there is no complaint and you don’t speak ill of anyone. Pressed between the days, which are close as reeds. You are not used to not being in control of your life. You have been lucky is another way of putting this. You try to imagine what it might feel like to think without language. You look at your mother, staggering with her deep heart, or those women who are nine-tenths the needs of others, and you wonder if language has shrunken you. To a body with a foreign language of its own.

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