To Kiss the World Through a Veil of Lead

Nutrition III

The lower half of your body is firmly buried in the ground. It grinds rocks and meticulously chews the resulting dust, adding sticky secretions to the resulting powder. It becomes a fine sticky web of vibrant materials: you feel them rushing inside you, pumping through your veins.

The upper half of your body is an exploded firework of hardy stalks. In the tip of each extremity, you harbour foetal versions of yourself. You feel their subdued heartbeats propagating in your veins until they reach your core. You feel rocked by waves that are both inside and outside yourself, a gentle and worrying to and fro that crawls inside your lymph and rings in each of your thousand glands.

One of your infants stirs offbeat. You turn your attention to it. It is ripe. The lower half of your body stops its grinding in anticipation. It secretes even more liquids until you are almost floating in a pool of wet dust.

Another stir. You withdraw energy from the child, directing the flow to the others. They beat faster, like infuriated drums raging in your veins. You shake the stalk that carries the infant that will soon be born and watch it swing and sway. You can peer inside the translucent placenta and see red dots flickering. You shake again, precariously immersed in puddles of your own saliva.

A few of your children fall to the ground and are warmly welcomed by your lower body's jaws. You discard those who are too young and fixate on the soft mushy egg with the flickering red lights. Using your tentacles you pry it open, remove your child from inside and then shove it in the pool beneath you. Your progeny crackles as your secretions corrode it, refreshing the nutrients of the ground around you.