arc d’x continued

“From the beginning Sally Hemings had been laced with her own doom.  In the web of the iceflies her transcendence had begun.  In the dark delirium of her black fire she’d already started the journey.  What Etcher saw as degeneration was the first leap upward; as she seemed to him to be plummeting downward, she in turn watched him fade and disappear from whatever her existence was in the process of becoming, as that existence finally surrendered her beauty.  For all of her life her beauty had taken away with one hand the freedom it offered with another; for all her life it had unlocked with one hand the chains the other had bound to her; and she didn’t want to be beautiful anymore.  She had never believed in it anyway.  She believed every man who had called her beautiful was a liar or a fool, either not to be taken seriously or to be taken seriously only for how he meant to possess her.  She didn’t want her body anymore, she didn’t want her face; she would happily leave her witchy incandescent eyes on the pillow, her watery dreamwracked mouth in his hand, where he could hold it like a coin or a plum or a small animal and believe its kiss was a gift of the soul rather than a twitch of the nervous system.  She would leave behind the bits of her beauty like souvenirs, and she’d leave the shell of herself to the thing inside her that could devour what she was but not who she was, while she went to a place where the static of love meeting freedom was not to be confused with history.”

steve erickson


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