“Lullaby and good night, thy mother’s delight”
That angelic song, like Mother’s milk, filtering through rock and dirt, summoning me from the down below. I want to drink it like nectar.
“Bright angels beside my darling abide”
The crust breaks like an open wound. I’m expelled from bedrock in a birth ritual of rock and flesh. The light stings my sensitive eyes more than the grit and stone. Second eyelids drop milky white.
I lie curled in my new nest beneath the singing, naked and pulsing in this harsh climate of expansiveness.
“They will guard thee at rest, thou shalt wake on my breast.”
The fading song laps at me like an underground lake – soft and black. The woman with the tender voice closes the door behind her. I uncoil from under the bed like a skein of rope.
“Momma?” Unfortunately, there is no second membrane to protect my exposed ears from the grating sound. Over the edge of the bed and I see its eyes staring back. Not opalescent and round, but small, crystallized blue. I climb over the rails, nails click-clicking. I pour around my new nest mate like twisting mercury.
My reflection in her eyes. Saw-like teeth chattering, scales iridescent in the moonlight. The world – so bright! She is enchanted with my eyes, lost in them, and she is unafraid.
She tells me her name. Susan. I don’t tell her mine.
She touches me, fingers playing along my corded muscles. I let her explore my scales and the chinks in my armor. And I too, drink her in. Her skin, the contours of her spine, the strange shape of her skull. Remember her. Susan giggles as my body surrounds her, convulses, changes, erupts.
Susan doesn’t giggle anymore.