Artemis Drifting

Just because she tippietoes, doesn't mean she's a creepin'.


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Her backyard was earth, but all she saw was the sea. The grass was worn, clipped closely to the heat-dried earth. It nuzzled up high to her house, swallowing the entire bottom floor before rolling down hill and bursting into untamed foliage. The bottom of her yard crashed like a wave, and the brambles that surged upward were the salty foam.
There was a spot beyond the fence that was as mysterious and dark as night waters. Beneath the sprawl of kudzu and stocky wild bushes there was a quiet place. The ground here was moist, dense with moss and clover. If ever there a scent to God’s breath, she would have been convinced that this was it. When she was a child, she felt safe sprawled on the velvet floor, protected by the green umbrella of so many wide leaves. She was so happy there and to speak aloud seemed that it would break the tranquil joy that radiated all around. It was those times that she discovered silent appreciation for life – what moved her rocked her soul, but did not break the still landscape of her face. Through her mother and father she learned what to care for and appreciate, but it was the reflective strength of nature that taught her how to love. Sometimes when she stumbled home from the little nook, she felt so sun-drunk and full that if she tipped, all that she had absorbed would gush free.
She started to grow up. At first, it was nothing but flesh and bones that reshaped. Though she spoke and thought as a fawn, her body had begun to flesh out into a wild doe. And on wobbly legs, walked out into the world. The rushing torrents of a water slide may have blooded her first, when the fine hair on her legs was still tender and blonde, but the sacrifice did not protect her. Hateful, quivering hands found her and she was never the same again. From there, so many fingers came for her – and each one of them left a stain on her skin, and she saw them all as drowning worms squirming up from the flooded earth to breathe. She no longer felt warm, and her smiles were only a show of teeth and nothing more.
She grew and grew. What youth she had she tucked away, folded that little skinny girl up and hid her behind her own ribs. She could not stand to see that child winded, to see her laughter end in misery. As an adult, she found love, but she had spent so long in two pieces – that she had no idea how to free her young soul from behind such dense bone. She tried to be whole, she tried to be perfect. Both of those endeavors turned out to be failures. She was saddled with the realization that no matter the strength of her efforts, she would always fall short and live in a twilight of half-life. The woman decided to return to that backyard, now long overgrown and abandoned.
Today, she has found it again, realizing that her now adult form does not tuck so neatly into this hollow anymore. The weight of her breasts, hips and her fertile womb seem only garish and grotesque. Inside her, there is movement, and suddenly a torrent of emotion breaks the frame of her ribs and spills out steaming. She has birthed her youth into the world again, and laid her narrow, blemished body out onto the small mossy home. Fingerprints were as numerous as her freckles, and the ridges of their owners prints rose like welts on her summer-pink skin. Her breath was sweet and almost indistinguishable from the forest air around them both. 
There, the doe wept over the fawn. If she could not protect her, then she would leave the child in the only safe place she ever knew. 
And from there, begin to drift.

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