Three sisters. Murderers. The oldest twisted you with kindness. The middle cut you with her tongue and the youngest poisoned you with jealousy. But it was your mother, it was your mother who killed you, slowly, with the best intentions.
From her window four flights above the sidewalk, her refusal to allow us entry, while blood flowed between my legs.
She had bled once. Now, a distant memory. Her sex, locked away from the hungry men for decades since her husband had died. Her only companions, three virgin daughters, a watchful eye, a handful of dried garbanzo beans and a book of interpretations.
And so it was that you were married off to a man you did not love. She had disappeared behind the door of the mysterious room, where you who still bled was forbidden to go. In that holy room where she consulted with Man Gods, her ancestors and the scriptures, her only advisors left, to determine the fate of the three girls she feared were now women without the protection of their father. To be a widow so young, in such a place.
You pressed your ear against the door to hear. Whispering prayers in tongues, clicking of beans thrown across the table, then silence. Again. And again into the evening hours.
At last emerging, reconciled with the fate that had been dealt. You, barely twenty three, would marry this man, your father’s age. The father you lost so young.
A good man. A kind man. An educated man with an income. A stable man. A mature man less inclined towards other women. If only she could have known how different a hand fate would deal you.
The next morning, you took the laundry to the terrace to hang as you did every week. You stole a few glances of the neighbor’s handsome son, who came to watch you from the balcony next door. The breeze caressing your arms in flight. The sun exploding on your black hair into a million stars.
And on that terrace, that last morning before your captivity, you met your body at last. An urge to spin overcame you. You abandoned the clothes in the basket and began singing and dancing around the terrace. Faster and faster you spinned on the white stones. Arms reaching out towards the sky. Your feet barely touching the ground. Your thighs excited against your skirt. You turned and turned, eyes closed, mouth open, reaching into the blue. Round and round until heaven and earth joined in your swollen sex and all six directions collapsed in your pulsating chest and gravity lost its hold. Until all there was was light and heat and the infinite.
The last thing you remembered was the distant sound of your mother’s voice calling your name. But you were already far out of reach.