My name is Pregnant Moon. It is a name I gave myself. It is a name I whisper into the darkness of night time and no one hears but me. I speak my name into the darkness. I call out my confessional. I scream and sing and cry my name but the trees move only by the force of the wind, my voice moves them not at all.
I feel the sag of my cheeks, the droop of my breasts and the gape of my groin, opening up to nothing and no one. I am the last of my people; a living artifact. I plan to die sitting up in bed where my body will dry into the sheets and pillows, where someone may, one day pass by, find me and say: “Well, here she was.”
I fear it and I seek it, this death. I imagine I will find comfort in it, to become one with the silence rather than pressing against it, stifled and strangled. But the knowledge of my singularity pushes the desire for that solace back. I feel this longing to delay it, to hide from it, to pervert it. With the end of my voice comes the end of all our voices. With the dullness of my dead eyes my people will no longer see. Without the pulse in my fingertips my people will no longer grasp and grip and strum at the matter of our earth. My body feels sore and torn through the push-pull of these two states. I want to sit and I want to run. I want to sleep but I fear closing my eyes. I want to eat but the urge to starve is as seductive as any lover I have ever known.
My life exists in memory. I spend my days and nights cataloguing them: by order of chronology, by order of sensation from the first pleasure to the freshest, most recent pain. In order of touch, in order of sunsets, in order of footsteps, in order of smells from sweetest to those most dank and sour. I order them in groups. I order them in lines. But no matter the order I have difficulty seeing them all together; to look at them and see myself whole.
My singularity makes me both too large and too small. The perspective is all wrong. The light is too murky, too bouncy, too bright, too shudderingly dark. I feel myself loose my sense, there is no sense, I become nonsense. What I wouldn’t give for a face to reflect mine. Someone to smile at.
There was a time when all I wanted was the sweet stillness of alone.
There is horror and wonder in the deliverance of one’s desires.
There is no other way to do this but to start at the start. To lay these scattered moments before me and examine them like a shaman’s deck spread across a dirt floor; to follow the omens and sacrificial markings to shed light on my life. To know why it began and why this followed that to bring me here.
This is a story spoken from the darkest depths. It is the whisper in the night sky; it is the kiss at the back of the neck. Tonight I woke from dreamless sleep to the moon, full and high and glorious. She beckons to me, she shines her shy silky light over everything. These restless nights come frequently now. I toss and turn, but when the sky is dark of moonlight and the stars whisper their dreams to one another, I am able to disappear among the shadows. I wrap them around me like blankets. The stars, those cold ancestors hang far above, distant guides whose hands cannot reach to touch. Their limits allow hiding. But the moon hangs close and in her quiet way strips me bare and I can hide from nothing.
I pull back the covers as the moonlight pulls back the darkness. I expose myself to her and her light exposes me. She drapes herself over my contours, lighting up the curve of my hip, the rise of my breast and casting shadows into the valleys of my flesh, the dark recess of armpit and belly button. The intricate embroidery of past touch, stitched over the planes of my skin, lights up and shines white, silver, grey, black. Words and symbols, looks and pressed hands cross over and converge in the crooks of my elbows. They layer and fold over the soft roundness of my stomach. These connections: tangled and knotted, flowing and confused, ugly, smudged, misspelled and oddly beautiful. They run together and lose their spaces, forming lines and currents that pulse and swirl with the lives that put them there. Disparate moments weaving together, juxtaposing and building upon each other, at once a thick tapestry and a fine silk cloth the moonlight runs through her hands. I cannot ignore them; they are of me and me of them. I walk out into the night. The deep murmur of memory whispering out of my skin. I open myself out to the moon, arms and legs spread wide and I let her look at me, every detail. Each gasp of perfection and each knotted flaw. My body racks and shakes in the cold air. The wind howls in my head. I turn and expose every inch of my skin to the round face of the moon and as I turn I see the faces of those I’ve touched and seen at their most vulnerable. I remember their scent: the deep must of old sweat, the fresh lively whiff of connection like a bouquet of soft skin. It opens up over me, petal after petal, flowing out and over: the fear, the anger, the trust, the joy, the humiliation, the hyper sensitive sensation, the tears. And at the heart of it I see my sister’s face. As I used to see it, as I will want to see it forever.