This Blood Is Beautiful Published in the first anniversary of Wishbone Words May, 2022 CNF
A woman, who is standing just a way down the hallway, pulls the top of her hospital gown down, exposing her shoulders and breasts.
This is the place where trembling is expected and loss is assumed, but not the place to take down the top of your hospital gown, because who wants to see all of those bodies, all of that pale skin, all of those limping gaits, and all of those scarred veins.
The nurse leaves my side and rushes to her.
The bringers of weeping and tears have visited this woman.
She is hard earth and roots, an old growth forest. She is living words, dead words, distress words, soft slurry words, disfigured words, clashing, dashing, dirty words, and ugly words that echo. Akhos has gripped her, that destructive demon.
Her voice is rough, layered bark, and she is a forest spread far and wide, grown from the seeds of invasive species. Lype has darkened her and she cannot look at black and overgrown things. It’s been this way for a while.
Maybe these walls are just another way to hold her here as she is clear cut, unable to protect her borders. Her remaining branches are bare of leaves. Ania has made her misery and winter always.
She’s bleeding from her arm and the more she talks, the more she bleeds, and the more she bleeds, the tighter I cling to her words. The nurse frantically tries to clean up the splatters of blood the woman is leaving everywhere, however this blood cannot easily be concealed or quickly whisked away. The floor refuses her revisions.
Sometimes people don’t want to be mopped up.
I sit here with my own blood, with my proper words and strategies and patience and compliance and my MyChart messages and my research on Dysautonomia International, and even with all of that, despite everything, my heart is still utterly disobedient and unruly and every other bodily system has joined in the rebellion.
My fear sits not ten feet away, soaked in the bleeding woman, peering from the pools of blood, watching the nurse tell the bleeding woman about how the world works, about what is allowed in her own forest, in her own skin, and my fear absorbs this information and pays attention to this disharmony, and my fear’s eyes widen and stare back, wondering, what happens to me if I flow out all over the floor too?
The nurse comes back to my little white alcove, apologizing for the disruption. She urges me to forget the bleeding woman. She tells me she’s going to use ultrasound to make sure she finds my vein.
If I could, I would write the bleeding woman immune to the disease that spreads here. I would make the harvesters and masticators go right through her, chomping and shredding air and nothing more.
I would write that I am holding on to my precious sun and moon and my beloved body and I would write about the way I say endless even though I know better.
The nurse misses my vein despite the ultrasound, apologetic that she’ll have to poke me again.
It doesn’t matter, I think. Take what you need from me. I won’t take stock until the end. I was bleeding before you got here. She searches around in the dark recesses of me until she finds a path. Finally, my blood flows, a sacrifice to the Algaea.
This blood is ache and anguish, grief and distress, sorrow and trouble.
This blood is beautiful. *Lype (pain), Ahkos (distress), and Ania (grief) are the Algea or Greek goddesses of suffering. They’re the daughters of Eris, the Goddess of Strife.