Do you remember? You asked me what was this book that I wrote for you 5000 years ago, these lines, these words, these snatches of my thoughts (you think them dead? They survived). I did not write on goat’s leather, on lead slats or on the wax of a boxwood tablet. It was on your skin that I traced these characters, on your back, first, and, as I had not finished, as I still had so much to say, to transmit, to fix, I overwhelmed on your arms, your thighs, your breasts. A fine, dense writing. Regular. Many words. Also, a lot of ideas. No erasure: rule number one, never damage the writing medium.
I talked about smells, colors and sounds. I spoke of the flight of birds and the drunkenness of alcohol. I spoke of the happiness of the (small) death, I spoke of the big nothing and the little everything. I spoke of origin and annihilation, strength and weakness. I spoke of men and gods, I spoke of forbidden loves and idylls forgotten, songs of yesteryear and invented memories. I wrote a lot about you, you know, about your body. Dead body. On your supple skin, before cadaverous rigidity seizes you. And I embalmed you, not to preserve forever your body envelope – it was not that exceptional – but to save my text, my anatomical writing, the rottenness of time.
It was 5000 years ago, my love, and I can still feel your breath in the depths of my ears, and the slight roughness of your fingers dipped in ink on my bare, bare skin made eternal by the writing of your body onto mine. You spoke of light, and birds, and alcohol, and sapphires on my finger, and gold on my ears, a medieval dream, you and I, yes, I remember, the fading of senses on my dying body – was it the little or the great death, I do not remember anymore – for being with you was being with life and death simultaneously. You embalmed my body to preserve your anatomical writing, to find yourself again in another life, and yet now as an archaeologist, when you opened the almost ancient sarcophagus, you found only the remains of my body. The text you had written on my skin was transcribed on my soul, my love. And now you must find my soul in this life, my arms, my thighs, my breasts, again, now. My love, to find your lost text, you must find me again.
Look at these female figures in old autopsy books and treatises, they all look like you, because they were you every time. And I was the anatomist that loved you, killed you, opened you. This pregnant girl (twins) in the “De animalibus” of Albert the Great, this eyes wide open one in the “Margarita philosophica” by Gregor Reisch, this wounded maiden whose intestines flow threw the nostril in the “Feldbuch der Wundtartzney” (1517) of Hans von Gersdorf, this crucified witch whose muscles are perfectly dissected with crows picking her breasts from the “Commentaria cum amplicissimis additionibus super Anatomia Mondini” (1521) by Jacopo Berengario da Carpi, that girl putting down her thorax skin as if she was unclasping her bra, thighs largely opened without any modesty in the “Isagogae breves, perlucidae et uberrimae in anatomiam humani corporis” (1523) of Jacopo Berengario (again).
Always you, always the same body, the same cadaver, from page to page, from book to book, from year to year, for eternity, as if you did not finish dying and being reborn so that I kill you and contemplate you (internally). Will you have to kill me to stop this funerary waltz?
M & Mrs Hyde are the two tantric and trashy sides of a forgotten soul, with frequent Jungian mood, tiny red spot obsession, Bombay Sapphire passion, frequent insomnia, recurrent headaches, taste for Darjeeling, and fascination for words. Always travelling from East to West, and inversely.
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