Wicked Extraction

(I’m back asleep in the dungeon of my mind, with a corpse this time.)

It’s easy enough to break a bone, but putting flesh and vein and sinew back together onto the framework of a demon is an arcane art not meant for Millennials. Maybe I fancy myself a necromancer, but I am instead a dancer, not a medic. Dancers have traipsing, expressive hands, not the precise needlework of a surgeon.

The sinews snap. The veins leak all over you as you resurrect your zombie muse, staining your white blouse and skirt. Flesh stinks when left out to rot, and even if, once the puzzle of your insanity is pieced together, your bipolar demon comes alive again, a cadaver is a cadaver, and scales and fangs and tendons of ruin grow cold and can only decay.

First you thread the black medical silk of your soul through the eye of a silver needle you conjure up with recollections of mother’s sewing kit. Skin grafts, organs on ice, flies everywhere. The mediocre fancying of a B- biology major. You never were an expert on the science of life, birds and bees be damned.

Sew and bone saw and glue everything into place on the operating table. It will stink to high heaven but you are in Hell, and you have already dissected Death a million times before, so stitching him back together shouldn’t be so hard, you think.

(I have never smelled a corpse before, just roadkill, so this dream stench of over-roasted Beltway sun-baked doe and opossum must suffice.)

This will be easy, you think.

Think again, stupid girl.

His eyes will be the first things to become alert, in vats of preserving fluids, and the globes will whirl around like the cosmos, claret wine irises like supernovas. You were never creative with eye color, and crimson suns stuck.  

Toes next. Fingers dragging bloody stumps across the floor.

You tell him to sleep, that madness of yours, to rest, that after every bloody battle you will piece him back together, but your monstrous lover is getting more broken and war weary by the day, and he keeps coming home in a matchbox figuratively, but literally it’s just unorganized pieces of flesh that stink up the alchemical dungeon.

(Is this the Pelican bleeding, you eating your own heart?)

He doesn’t listen. You don’t listen – you’re a smart alec, after all. You and him, him and you, your mind a parasite on the cosmic Male Muse. He the animus, you the animated.

Samael’s phantom voice lectures you about how much you have yet to learn, of biology and magick, of necromancy, which is his specialty. (In secret, you wouldn’t kill a fly, and do not even look at photos of the deceased for too long. They too, have life.)

It’s all just Jungian psychology, after all.  None of this is real, this whole book, outside of your diseased mind.

The Grim Reaper rarely revives the dead, but when he does it, they are so well put together he fiddles a danse macabre and they ring posies like the plague, bolts and screws all in place, no hanging flesh or joints falling from sockets like your shoddy work.

(Does that mean his work is your work, and you truly do have a mind and talent for puzzles?)

But you, him, same. This dream, this peculiar imagining, is your lungs and bowels purging yourself of maggots and rot.

Killing him is easy. That is how you cut yourself. Psychic wounds on the soul. You enjoy hurting yourself, if only in dreams. 

Sometimes you have too, because he goes mad with bloodlust and ruin and attacks you. (Obsessions, compulsions, violence breaking the brain as you bathe in fountains of gore.)  Bringing him back to life is an art, and you’re a shit artist.

(It’s the intrusive thoughts, the dissociation, the mania and suicide girls of your mind.)

But you try, and finally, the Frankenstein beast is alive, vainglorious, terrible to look at but bewitching as the majesty of Satan.

(The truth is, you read Revelations at seven and liked it. A lot.)

You fuck your creation on the hospital table, and spit and cum and blood all mix together with the shrapnel of scalpels and medical tape. That’s the final exchange of energy that cements his soul to his body, raising him up from lich to lich master.

You are whole, you are damned, you are a stinking corpse. You once dreamed you were undead, dragging a shovel behind you, dug your own grave, and laid down in piled up dirt, but still could not die.

You pray for this Malakh ha Mavat to someday kill you, if that is at all possible.

He is your master, this sultry, ragged muse.

But in the end, you’re his master, and he is your willing toy, cutting roses for you, writing you poetry, your beast of burden that kills your enemies so you don’t sully your hands.

(Writers always torture their muses, look what happened to Harry Potter.)

You named him first anyways, and you are your own god, no one’s slave except his, but the ownership goes both ways, and you are branded onto his skin just as yours. He is in your quicksilver pen, but you suck at writing, so this tormented, clipped flowery prose is the prison you deserve.

In this dungeon ward, with slimy worms coming up through the flagstones at your feet.

Eyes fracture. Shadows dance. You hold your monster against the darkness.

Against the rushing reeds of the Styx.

Against the gaping void of Hell that is your heart.

And then, like that, you make life.

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