“A wound with blood & pus, or the sickly, acrid smell of sweat, of decay, does not signify death. In the presence of signified death—a flat encephalograph for instance—I would understand, react, or accept. No, as in true theater, without make-up or masks, refuse & corpses show me what I permanently thrust aside in order to live. These body fluids, this defilement, this shit are what life withstands, hardly & with difficulty, on the part of death.”—Julia Kristeva, Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection, 1982
For you I undress down to the sheaths of my nerves. I remove my jewelry and set it on the nightstand, I unhook my ribs, spread my lungs flat on a chair. I dissolve like a remedy in water, in wine. I spill without staining, and leave without stirring the air. I do it for love. For love, I disappear.
Articulacy of fingers, the language of the deaf and dumb, signing on the body body longing. Who taught you to write in blood on my back? Who taught you to use your hands as branding irons? You have scored your name into my shoulders, referenced me with your mark. The pads of your fingers have become printing blocks, you tap a message on to my skin, tap meaning into my body. Your morse code interferes with my heart beat. I had a steady heart before I met you, I relied upon it, it had seen active service and grown strong. Now you alter its pace with your own rhythm, you play upon me, drumming me taut.
Written on the body is a secret code only visible in certain lights; the accumulations of a lifetime gather there. In places the palimpsest is so heavily worked that the letters feel like braille. I like to keep my body rolled up away from prying eyes. Never unfold too much, tell the whole story. I didn’t know that Louise would have reading hands. She has translated me into her own book.
“One need look no further for the cause of the fear associated with sexual activity. Death is exceptional, an extreme case; each loss of normal energy is indeed only a little death compared with the death of the drone, but whether obscurely or clearly this little death is what is feared. On the other hand it is also desired (within human limits at least). No one could deny that one essential element of excitement is the feeling of being swept off one’s feet, of falling headlong. If love exists at all it is, like death, a swift movement of loss within us, quickly slipping into tragedy and stopping only with death. For the truth is that between death and the reeling, heady motion of the little death the distance is hardly noticeable.”—Georges Bataille, Eroticism