Drew Hetzel: Communications

Fall '10 TOC

I wobble naked into the forbidden kitchen late at night when everyone’s asleep. They’ve warned me with the fear of death not to ever, ever go there alone, but I’m two, terrible two. Nobody ever listens to fear when they’re two. “In Africa, the ants eat the children,” but I don’t know what fear is. Curiosity brings me here, and the calls they make to me, tapping their little antennae on the counter, enchanting me with their music, and the smell, they produce the smell of moonbeams. I float across the floor, my belly sticking out ahead of me, their little bodies tickle my feet, gently encouraging me. They bring me to the middle of the floor in the center of the kitchen, and like sand in a funnel come to me from the counter tops. I stand still as they climb my pink flesh, and I laugh when they tickle my tender parts with their hooked feet and pointed pincers. I dare not move out of interest in their language—secrets they whisper in my ears as a chorus. They show me the touch beyond human tenderness. They come into my nose and I smell ambrosia, they willingly enter my mouth and I taste nectar. I say “ambrosia” and “nectar” because there are no tangible words in human language for their taste-gifts and smell-gifts, or the bliss of their touch. In return I give them my sight and they burst into scent-song. To their delight I give them my mind, which they had never known before. They whisper to me that my thoughts are like melting crystals: salty, sweet, sour, and they all evaporate just like their wordless scents, only lighter. I must look invisible under this mound of undulating blackness. They scintillate like the night sea when together like this. A change in temperature and they stop moving for a moment—. Then a scented message says, go back; they reverse direction without dissent, climbing out of my ears, nose, brain, mouth, and back to the floor, back to the counters, back to their business. I almost cry for them because the light is entering the kitchen window and soon others will be awake, but they are unafraid and indestructible like me.

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Not Enough Night
Not Enough Night
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