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Petit

35

IwasbornintheLarzac

Sheliesinherdaybed, herbrownsheetsrustlingwith earthworms, herbeetle-carapaceeyesocketsstaringupat me.

Itrapstagbeetlesinaboxandwatchthembattlelike Maman’sleftandrighteyes.

Iamalways avoidingher gaze, and yetyearningfortheblaze behindhericicle-eyelashes.

Isitquietlyasastone, smellingaromaticmintmingled withwildthyme, stabmyself withbramblesuntil my criesarelouderthanhercicada-chants

andourfurnituresurfacesfromthesoil. Thespringsof her mattressuncoil fromthewall, andhere, underthelintel of aroot-door, liesthemangledframeof thatpictureIhated.

IwasbornintheLarzac, fromamistral-motheranda thistle-father. Twoyearsshesharedherbedwiththis monster. Twoyearsshewasthewindwhettinghis knife-sharpenerspikes. Hislipsgroundbackandforth onhers.

Herfigleaf-handswavetomefromthetopof thevineyard, whereit vanishesintoatangleofoak-impaledboarcarcasses.

ThenIfollowthesunshine-freckledstream, toclimbdown theknottedladderintoitsdeepbedandhopfromone stepping-stonetoanother, dodgingtheleaf roof.

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