F rom the sky, comes a slow rain of honey. In a few months it gets down here. The honey fills in the trace of a body, pitted and turned to dust by the wind, and the wind chases after the dust. From the trace of an arm, a dripped swan’s neck, arcing. In the beak of honey, something has calcified into a fragile, ugly jewel; the swan’s mouth can never close, trembling, gaping gently, but the honey oozes around it and human lips appear and disappear. After the throat was poured, wasps got stuck there and contrived their fruit inside. It’s so ugly to see them try to pick their way out. After a lukewarm year they form a swarm over the liquid eye of the swan.
Honey from the sky drizzles over the wasps and coats them just as they take flight and the angry bodies of the wasps sink slowly from the air back into the dust, back into the form of her body. A swarming neck of honey pooling into honeycombs of collar bones. From the memory of her legs, shrunken to cat legs, sticky, amber, weak with birth. From the memory of her stomach, a dog’s jaw, pulled back and in, famished in honey.
The jewel, which is striated with veins, hatches in her mouth, this mouth of a swan: a butterfly heart, a tiny, tiny testicle beating quickly. Crumbling its shell. From her neck the wasps crawl pathetically down a ridge in the dust, stinging and swelling it so it rises into spine bones, connecting the dog’s jaw to the cat’s legs. The dog’s jaw in the memory of her belly smells the cat’s legs shrunk in the trace of her legs, and curls over itself, stretching hungrily down a spine of honeyed wasp stings, trying to open itself. The cat’s mummified legs begin stirring into the hunt, stalking the swan’s neck and would burn to dust if the honey did not hold them. The swan cannot defend itself, for in its mouth is this fragile, ugly beating butterfly heart. The dog’s jaw reaches – nearer and nearer the cat’s legs; the cat’s legs inch – nearer and nearer the swan’s vulnerable neck inside of which beats quickly the most ugly butterfly heart; the tasteless struggle of the wasps that slowly sting when they touch something, trying to protect themselves from everything in their world by poisoning everything in their world, and swelling the dust into whole cities of soft, bloated bones. The sky raining honey is a large butterfly wing, sinking closer and closer until it can touch the tip of the beak of her arm which is a swan’s neck. And suddenly, the butterfly heart stops beating. We are all right here.
Aria Riding is a name now used by several writers of different genders, persuasions, mental health states, and ethnic backgrounds as a solidarity project. Through this experiment, she is trying to write a more complete author. Recent publications include Gargoyle Magazine, Atticus Books, The Adirondack Review, etc.
Riding never goes out, is never seen, but her emissaries run Psychomachia Theater, a fringe space showcasing underrepresented/innovative arts/performance/letters (Seattle) and the dissident art/performance/butoh group Danse Perdue: website: www.lostdance.com.