Medical Intervention (Excerpt)
Bri felt she was a map. She had never been a map before.
There were travelers. She felt one moving from a continent of loss
to an island where no man is a man. It tickled. To the South, icebergs
somersaulted in a slow-motion that lasted years. They drew linguists
even though there was no language, and brilliant scientists
who could not be trusted to cook or eat a meal, or refrain from smashing the plate.
There were similar bodies of ice in the North,
but these were prone to snapping; these drew a certain suicidal tourist type.
Her father was a fjord in a Southeastern continent. Her mother
was a Baltic country, insisting upon its borders, which deviated very little over centuries.
She was a map, for sure, but she began to suspect she was a planet,
for she burned inside, everywhere. It was a wonder that the frail bodies of earth
with their frail cities full of frail bodies were not all consumed in her blinding center.
That water, let alone ice, could rest on her crust.
In every inhabited place, there were altars, statues, candles, bonfires,
none of which could soothe the temperament of the elements.
The elements were not at rest. Every once in a while, the wind would tire,
the ball of fire would burn too hot, the seas would beg to lie down,
but this only generated another event, which was known as a disaster
to those on the periphery of the thing.
She was penetrated and pierced in many places, she felt everything
from mild suction to vicious drilling. Wildflowers spread
as a balm to recent forest fires. Killing was done for nourishment, for harm,
and everything in between. Species lived and died in a breath. Giant squid
inhabited the lightless waters of the deepest oceans.
The first face she saw was Jason's. She couldn't speak yet.
What a shame, she thought, I was just learning how to make it snow.