this red under my eyes

The moment of my birth was the moment the colors found me, fleshed me. As I grew, they grew with me, bodying me as I, in turn, gave them my depth.

this red under my eyes

Some of our books call them symbiotes. Others, parasites. Once they’ve found us (I’ve seen a baby once before the colors found it)(some children are never found by the colors, and their parents leave them and start again, and it’s not murder, not really, as they were never really born in the first place, some babies are just unlucky, they’re not made for the colors, even with our delivery rooms rising in great piles of saffron and blue and red powders and peppered with gold and strewn with bowls of ink and ribbons, ample stuff for bringing on the rainbowed fleshing, the birth – sometimes the colors just won’t come)(those unbirths are discarded in piles of uncolor, great dead depths in secret underneaths and belows) – and that moment of pigmenting is astounding to witness, a coming-into life, into sensibility and sensation all at once – they are ours and we theirs. We feed on one another, one giving dimension to inhabit, the other offering living surface in return.

this red under my eyes

It was not until midlife when this red under my eyes found me. I could almost see it sometimes, glancing at it sideways as it slid along the baseboard or snaked up the wall. It kept its distance, staying just out of sight, and I kept mine. I was hesitant to look at it, not yet sure if I wanted to body it – such a commitment!, my mother said – and it didn’t particularly seem to want to be seen. We lived that way for some time. I would bring it companions from my breakfast, cherries or bits of napkin stained garnet, or I’d hang my crimson dresses along the walls at night and leave them to it. Sometimes they’d form constellations, always the same, always different, always almost glimpsed in a moment of recognition of red. Occasionally, when it seemed lonely – in the particular way that surfaces do, when they want touching, though this red was not yet surface – I bled for it, dripping on the linoleum, looking just away.

There was one difficult night – I was too much in myself, I needed too much, felt unfleshed – and I had pasted a blouse to the wall to give the red company and usually I contented myself just being in the presence of that red communion but then it at once it wasn’t enough and loneliness overcame me and it was late and I turned and I looked.

this red under my eyes

There are colors living behind my eyelids – a blue that comes out just as I close them at night to go to sleep, and an orange that loves the sun.


[Return to “Reading Notes: The Intertwining – The Chiasm”]