Ana Mendieta

It all begins with the sound of the wind.

The ground is a phantom blur, the Village rising up to greet you, the velocity of a falling stone, your hair mocking gravity, your fingers splayed and floating, your pianos speaking pig Latin, your neckline, lolling, your soft feral eyes, rolling, aloft, alone and allayed.

Black mud bubbles, seeping.

When I met you, you were covered in clay and coated in tiny green stems, of grass. Then, tarred and feathered, now pillows and blood, a jellied mass of flesh and bone.

You.

Merging naked with the sea foam, rolling in the gunpowder, cramming that frail naked body into the crevices of trees.

You.

Sleeping, holed below timelines, curled into mud caves, becoming soothingly fetal, staring back at us, fools, long since evicted, from mother and womb.

You.

A child of the Copsey leaves, crawling naked, angles and haunches, your salamander creekbeds, brittle as a conefish, bearded and broken and bruised, all shins and blunt fingers, pale skinned and coal patches, a tiny girl stranger, marooned forever, behind glass.

You.

A toucher, an untouchable, a toucher, untouched, that first touch of fingers, those orphaned touch slumbers, touch rendered, invisible, where fingers go searching, your eye stalks, in earth ever crushing, your tactile dream wanting, raised arms in surrender.

Hand to hand, hand to stone, hand to bark, hand to mud.

Hand to foot, hand to hold, hand to mouth, hand to blood.

Eye to eye, face to face, nose to nose, every thing seen, every thing touched, wantonly slathered and garbed in black satin, the texture of living rolls silent beneath you, on the pads of your fingers, the dark silouetta, a fossilization, an end to a living, apart from your mother, who rotates beneath you and welcomes you home.

And it all begins with the sound of the wind.

 o O o

Note to any reader: Rarely do I publish a photo I have not taken myself. In this case I had nothing as haunting or appropriate as this photo attributed to, and copyright, Sally Mann. Sally, if you ever read this, I hope you’ll believe me when I tell you that it was not my intention to exploit or profit by your work. If you wish me to remove the photo I will. But thank you, for helping me to see Ana (if this is in fact Ana) as a child. VC

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