I unzip my body from chin to navel, not seeking serenity, but mystery.  I flay myself open like a formaldehyde scented frog.  All my insides exposed to the pinpricks of light, negative light, blue streaks of lightning grip me, the light of the Emperor.  Only now do you understand the power.  I speed past the gnarled maple against the clouded sky, wanting to paint it, to photograph it, to burn it in my eyeballs, to remember, but each morning it reappears, having been lost in the intervening 24 hours. What secrets lie within, guts spilled out what mystery waits to enter into me, like a waif, like a lover, like a rapist.  The wall of feeling hits my open wounds like peroxide, burning and foaming  – there is nothing tender but my strength, my embrace of protection, my tongue of truth, my bones of courage, my empty guts sprawling, languid on the scratched shining surface.

The liquid silver of the river as it breaks into the long shallow lake, sun rising on the far end, like mercury in my eviscerated body cavity.  Perhaps if I unzipped all the way to my vagina then the light of good would pour in.  I cannot open myself any more.  And I am scalded and shivering all at the same time.  I am weak kneed, bent and brittle, as though my joints have been hammered, as though I have the bends.  But I scrabble at my innards trying to expose more of myself to the universe.  Come inside, come inside.


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