I find it difficult to say things plainly, so I’ll just say that my mother’s hands were always full of bones.
She would hold them close and clutch them, bringing them to her chest when they were cold. And children with their flesh and their tears never phased her, their warmth not a thing to her mind. They just gave her good reason to relish the cold touch of bones and forego the future, enchanting the past and every power of death upon them as they sharpened themselves upon us.
Our marrow was so rich and warm. And our mother would eat it, unthinking, kissing the skeleton in a suck like an infant crying out that Mother Death and Our Lady of the Shadows never loved her so well as this.
She made us hollow. She made us naked, ripping to rags even our bedclothes as emblems to bind and beatify the dead.
O I wish, O Mother, in knots and offerings, that these votives make pretty bows of my motives. O ghosts, give me strength to withhold. Mother, make me not weak to be eaten. Give me death for myself to control.
And so her spells cast us as Others, unnecessary for her needs. Her adored drama, the sheer vastness and blankness of her bones bore us through. And, light as birds but flightless, we flew – the hollowness of our hearts coming through.
The fall to the floor seemed so much farther than our featherweight bones could forestall – and yet we met the earth with ease, barely bruised, free to wing wide through our down.