LE MORTE D’AUTEUR
My nails don’t stop growing, that strange prickling of fingers –
an itch I can’t scratch, a confusing volition. Yes, I rang for
the exorcist; won’t say I regret it. Not the holy water nor that
old book nor the box with utensils: forks, little knives, a
divining rod & he this cruel gynecologist, waving it about my belly
in search of God knows what, and he probably does. If my fingers
twitch still, I am dry as a desert. Like a place one gets lost in.
Like a flat place one dies in, and I do, and I did. Would you believe
me if I said I felt you leaving my body? Felt you push at the door,
looking out, that sad face. The gush of the break, the earth-shake,
bilious panic. Gone the screaming and fits, gone the claws. Do I miss
their faint scratching? Their soft rat-tat-tat, near-umbilical. Hard.
The exorcist says I was blameless, who could blame me, he says so.
And one doesn’t let splinters fester even if, under different conditions,
they might have been trees. So I made the appointment, boiled water
for tea. He looked young for an exorcist, but I look young for a
dead woman. Yes, you get out what you put in, and I do, and I did.