47. I want to make a dark mirror out of writing: one child
facing the other, like Dora and little Hans. I want to write,
for example, about the violence done to my father's body
as a child. In this re-telling, India is blue, green, black and
yellow like the actual, reflective surface of a mercury globe.
I pour the mercury into a shallow box to see it: my father's
right leg, linear and hard as the bone it contains, and silver.
There are scooped out places where the flesh is missing,
shiny, as they would be regardless of race. A scar is memory.
Memory is wrong. The wrong face appears in the wrong
memory. A face, for example, condenses on the surface of
the mirror in the bathroom when I stop writing to wash my
face. Hands on the basin, I look up, and see it: the distinct
image of an owlgirl. Her eyes protrude, her tongue is sticking out, and she has horns, wings and feet. Talons. I look into her eyes and see his. Writing makes a mirror between the two children who perceive each other. In a physical
world, the mirror is a slice of dark space. How do you
break a space? No. Tell me a story set in a different time,
in a different place. Because I'm scared. I'm scared of the
child I'm making.
48. They dragged her from a dark room and put her in a
sheet. They broke her legs then re-set them. Both children,
the wolfgirls, were given a fine yellow powder to clean their
kidneys but their bodies, having adapted to animal ways of
excreting meat, could not cope with this technology. Red
worms came out of their bodies and the younger girl died.
Kamala mourned the death of her sister with, as Joseph
wrote, "an affection." There, in a dark room deep in the
Home. Many rooms are dark in India to kill the sun. In Midnapure, I stood in that room, and blinked. When my vision
adjusted, I saw a picture of Jesus above a bed, positioned
yet dusty on a faded turquoise wall. Many walls in India
are turquoise, which is a color the human soul soaks up in
an architecture not even knowing it was thirsty. I was
thirsty and a girl of about eight, Joseph's great-granddaughter, brought me tea. I sat on the edge of the bed
and tried to focus upon the memory available to me in
the room, but there was no experience. When I opened
my eyes, I observed Jesus once again, the blood pouring
from his open chest, the heart, and onto, it seemed, the
floor, in drips.