(F O E T U S)
T is plasticky. Stillborn, no heartbeat. I felt nothing when they pulled it out of me because I did not ask for it to be put there.
A mutagenic creature, tips stained with gentian violet [still itching from insertion].
From Elsewhere, they (it? he/she?) saw that I was ripe, fertilisable. Why Terrans were chosen nobody knows. One day womb-owners woke up on their front lawns, dazed, throbbing between the thighs and slick with bloodied mucus.
Whatever happened took place outside of time.
All memories of the past week had evaporated into the Elsewhere with whatever1 put T inside of us.
With no ephemeral evidence that anything in particular put T there, the howl for loss of autonomy did not reverberate much further than my entrance.
It dangled limp in the air, like the strings of flesh dragged out along with it.
T felt, and was (or so they think), inorganic. Maybe that’s why I rejected my offspring; we aren’t
made of the same stuff, not even slightly. I think if my child had been somewhat mammalian, albeit extra-terrestrial, things might have gone differently.
1. Thompson, Motif-Index of Folk Literature. T516. †T516. Conception through dream? (*Type 650; Christiansen Norske Eventyr 92; Egyptian: Legrain Louqsor sans les Pharaons 119; Chinese: Ferguson 37, 60, Werner 132, Eberhard FFC CXX 93; Korean: Zong in-Sob 127, 201 Nos. 61, 97.) T517. †T517. Conception from extraordinary intercourse? T525. †T525. Conception from falling star? (Irish myth: Cross.) T525.1. †T525.1. Impregnation by star? (Chinese: Eberhard FFC CXX 92.) T525.2. †T525.2. Impregnation by a comet? (Chinese: Eberhard FFC CXX 92.)
Something inside me perforated mid-procedure. Fluid retention led to a further parturiency.
[two weeks later]
The ballooning of my ovary awakened an aching maternal sickness impossible to shake. Like ball bearings strapped to every meaty organ in my vessel, the uncoupling of my little cyster and I weighed down my essence, the taste of lead coating my cheeks.
I bellowed like a cow for its calf seeing my disembodied vesicle sat atop steel next to my hospital bed.
A gaggle of confused and concerned nurses buzzed around me:
“Ma’am, we can’t put it back inside of you. Please, oh please won’t you stop crying. Why on Earth, no, how on Earth do you expect us to reattach an ovarian cyst??”
“We’ve all been through enough this past month with this bloody alien-robot birthing orgy, yourself included!”
“Don’t you want to rest? You must be exhausted? Do you want to eat anything? No? Oh for fucks sake first a global pandemic now this honestly madam you have me at my wits end- there’s not much more we can do for you here other than recommend a good psychiatrist.”
[“She’s fucking crazy. Must be the trauma, can’t be easy going through that I don’t envy her but my god she’s weird jesus christ when is she going to stop screaming I can’t take much more sometimes I hate this fucking job”]
[“She’s kinda freaking me out...keeps calling the mass her ‘sister’.... poor thing. Dose her up with Valium and let’s get her booked in with the mental health nurse in a few weeks’ time.”]
You’d have thought I’d lost a lung, the way my screeches drew blood from the walls. I close my eyes and crawl inside the oviform universe I propagated.
It’s quiet now.
C Y S T E R2
(A F T E R B I R T H)
Scrapings of my hips,
A hard tang of iron perfumed with rot.
Sanguine umbilication; my thumbs ache to plunge into your darkest spaces
[THE PROBED BECOMES THE PROBEE]
Tasting the rust of haem with each fingertip3
Like the skull of a human infant – I know I should not press it, but the urge is so overwhelming a spiral behind my naval beings to whorl into my core.
The cyst on the egg of the world4
Cicatrice by cicatrice5 I am re-stitched.
I am no cobra; swallowing you whole would choke me, but god I want to.
- MANY ACTUALITIES FROM A SINGLE ORIGIN –
Antediluvian ovum, a world-making nucleosynthesis inside of my sex.
And you, surplus to all creation, what do you hold?
2. Thompson, Motif-Index of Folk Literature. T541.2. †T541.2. Birth from wound or abscess. *Type 705; Fb "orm" II 759b; Oceanic: Dixon 113, 234 n. 44, 251 nn. 18--22; Haiti: Alexander Lat. Am. 29; Africa: *Werner 156f., 222.
3. Hayward, E. (2010) FINGERYEYES: Impressions of Cup Corals. Cultural Anthropology. Vol. 25, No. 4, Multispecies Ethnography. pp. 577-599. “As an act of sensuous manifesting, fingeryeyes offers a queer reading of how making sense and sensual meaning are produced through determinable and permeable species boundaries.”
4. Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (2003). Anti-Oedipus: capitalism and schizophrenia. London, Continuum. ‘Body without Organs’ hypothesis, using the origin of the cosmos according to the Dogon people:
These primordial movements are conceived in terms of an ovoid form—'the egg of the world' (aduno tal)—within which lie, already differentiated, the germs of things; in consequence of the spiral movement of extension the germs develop first in seven segments of increasing length, representing the seven fundamental seeds of cultivation, which are to be found again in the human body.” – Griaule, M. Germaine Dieterlen (1954). “The Dogon” Cyril Daryll Forde African worlds; studies in the cosmological ideas and social values of African peoples., LIT Verlag.
5. Carson, A. (2006) Decreation. London, Vintage.