The small little bug landed on my shoulder. It was red and black and looked like something from a nightmare that has yet to get to the darkest pit, yet to leave me tumbling through the air, tasting death as it comes, yet to shock me into wakefulness. It was the news, the stories of rape in the Congo and the dark-as-night-skinned women who adorn their bodies in the colors of rainbows, yet know, with full body awareness, of the brutalizers. It was the pack of seven men that took her down, that ripped into her after taking the breath from her husband, and as bad as it sounds, a part of it, even after several hours and countless other thoughts, it still filled me with the flush of sexual excitement. I had moved to turn down the radio, my brain had recognized her story as something bad, something I would never wish upon myself or another, yet the thought of it, the fantasy, the show of power and domination and the forced submission and the tears and the sexual release the men must have felt by pushing themselves into a woman who had no more tears left, it was that which started the ticking pulse and the search for other images just as brutal and those two realities, the inability to even hear her full story and the vibrational fantasy it invariably created, those two truths despised each other. They were magnets of the same charge. They were shame. They were contradiction.
Modern American women don’t think like that, they don’t like that, they don’t want that, they condemn that…and I do, yet I don’t, yet I do, but I don’t.
And the two colored moths flew around my shoulders, teasing the bare white of my skin with their buzzing and fanatical wing beating. And I wouldn’t want it to happen, but I like it. I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone, but I want to see it. To be held down, forced open, no matter how much it hurts, no matter how much I want to run away. And when it does happen, the small, more harmless variety, I feel like I could follow him to the ends of the earth. I can see myself, wearing torn white rags, stepping across the red horizon as the even redder planets loom like hot air balloons just a short arms reach away. I can feel each step over rough edged gravel and those shiny swords that wait in the distance. I have not reached them yet, but I have seen their cousins in the smaller ponds and they have cut me deep, very deep, and somehow, with bloody feet and salty cheeks, I made it past them and over the barren hillsides. And at the ends of the earth, perhaps only an arms reach away, but necessitating a lifetime of travel, he waits in the crystal castle with a goblet full of foul tasting life and eyes that could warm the night sky if given a chance. The wings flap like a soft lullaby and their colors have become my coat of arms.