Wednesday, June 17, 2009

pit dwellings

Her little toe traces the outline of a shadow as it darkens beneath her heel, chilling the mud. The color deepens, capturing the little ankle as it sinks into the surface, pulling it close, pulling it closer. Mud splatters while the foot flexes, the little toe gently rebelling against the tug, slipping into a chilling puddle of rain. Her arm stretches subconsciously to rub the water out of her eyes as it beats against her raw skin. The water streams down her soaked clothes, pulsating, rhythmically beating as it forms rivers, dripping to the ends of her fingers to join the other drops in the oceans already formed from tears such as these. The bumps laying on her skin rise, silently protesting the storm, though the storm has raged to a state long past familiarity. Her heart wails earsplitting cries, never heard, never known, only swallowed by the velvet black surroundings. The foot begins to lift again and again, begins to stumble through the darkness. Her shoulders ache with the pressure, her back surrendering to the load it carries by collapsing against the wall. The wall cools the shoulders, gently massaging the trembling muscles, hugging them tight, hugging them tighter. She rests her neck against the firmness of the cave until the relief begins to fade and the tightness presses her chest; until suffocation generates panic in her round, unfocused eyes. Her nails claw into the surface of the wall, brushing against a crevice. The crevice rotates the body and helps the little toe shove its way inside. The ankle submerges into the crevice and the wall and the mud; the foot jumping to settle the weight, teetering as it transfers its position, shoving the body towards the sky. Her arm fumbles to find its way, groping mounds of dirt as it oozes through thin fingers, oozes to clothe the shivering carcass. Eyes scan the wall, gravity clutching her gaze and focusing it on the pit below. She stares down at this place she has become so inclined to, a place she grown so accustomed to, and allows her foot to slowly slide down the side of the wall, throwing her body back towards the center of the place of which she has made a nest, a home. The ground opens, welcoming her home, hardening to form concrete as her flesh crumbles above it, the mud turning to rocks, inviting her again to the place to which she thinks she now belongs. The rain plummets from the sky, silencing her screams, quieting her small questions why. Her hair bleeds into her scalp as her fingertips raise and propel her body back upward. Her body hurls itself forward, gasping for air as her ribs heave, catapulting every breath into the small crack in the wall; and she climbs. Sobs vibrate through the weariness of her bones as she struggles, struggles against depravation. Blinking through the rain, she hears the shallow whispers snatching her foot, wrapping lies around her ankle, grabbing hold of her little toe as it battles to continue working. The water screeches into her veins, shrieking as it swims through her body. Her back squirms to hold firm, tightening her neck so her eyes cannot drift down again. She locates her last tiny breath squeezing its way through her lungs, repelling through her throat, tickling the edge of her tongue. She tilts her head back and stares straight up. A solitary tear stained against her nose begins to melt. Her wet eyelashes harden; her arms shrug as little bumps drop back into the skin. Her shoulders soften against their frame, as a warm sensation begins to warm her tender back and slip down her spine. Her eyes flutter as they keep staring up, flashing with the reflection of light now radiating against her pale cheeks. Her foot continues to trek up the wall, fulfilling the last steps with renewed strength. Her ankle rubs against the final inches of the cave, allowing the little toe, bruised and broken, to glide into warm grass, surrendering into the light, absorbing every ray as it, at last, rests peacefully in the embrace of the sun.

"He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God." - Psalm 40:1-3


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