Excerpt from The Americ Book of Death

Her body lay on a platform that took up the bulk of the room. Pallid. Leathered skin of her face. Lower lip stretched up and over the upper, sutured in place with a skinned twig. Eyes sewn shut with purple thread.

A new mother lay with her new born infant on the floor. Her being her. The newly dead. Her, the mother. Her, the child. Three generations of the inevitable.

The mother writhing and moaning. The infant on it’s back. Wiggling. Waving limbs like an upturned insect. Trying its body. Trying. To break free.

Thirteen. Of us. Lined against the wall. Humming. Facing her. The mother. The newly dead. The baby. Humming anknown frequency. Forgotten.

The Prince of Dark. The man unseen. Behind a screen. Preaching. Lava. Smoke.

I am silent.

Midwife returning. Carrying the abalone shell. Pink. Green. Blue. Nacre. Mother of Pearl. Chalice. Water. Drinking. Offering. Pouring.

“They die for your sins!”

I am afraid.

She pulling me down to lay on top of her. The Midwife. Mourning the dead? The living?

Me straddling her. Hands and knees on the plank wood floor. She reaching around my neck. Pulling me down. Heavy. Between her legs. Gravity. The weight of my body grinding. Her writhing. Hands exploring the contours of my jean-covered inner thighs. My ass. The seam along my perineum.

The Dark speaking softly. Murmering. Thirteen. Of us. Humming. Me fighting against her. She, too strong. Her consuming me.

Death born in the cellular body at the moment of conception.

Death escaping the womb. She who determines when the fighting commences. Retreating. Into our pre-birth mind.

Death a decrepit woman. Stuffed. Displayed in The Americ Museum of Cultural Anthropology.

Death a squirming infant, waiting to make sense of its place in the scheme of this.

Death a desperate orgasm achieved as a defense against time.

Death comes. The Midwife. She is good.