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Eve’s Laugh

Katherine Dorkins' shortlisted piece for the Monica Ali Creative Writing Award

Humour me with golden words, generously will I laugh at timely jewels. Spin a kingdom of well-turned phrases, you seem to offer broad skies and tumbling hills. Hold out your hand, beckoning articulateness’s fluid beaches: I will notice amphibian skin stretched over emphatic knuckles, the elegant point of resolute finger. Paint your face with baubauled declarations, raise your cheekbones and make symmetrical your features. Charm me into seeing your straight nose and noble profile. Show me the path to enunciation, you seem to offer part of your simile-crown. Might I, too, learn to dress in silk and lace words? to scurry, selkie and gleeful, donning and shedding velvet identities? Yet you, handsome in sharp lines and strict hollows, merely illude to nature’s tangible openness. Your enounced elevation does not, though you promised, furnish me with words as giving as my erstwhile laughter. Mute, I watch cheated as you sweep up my halfway compositions, shining neon brighter by robbing my flickering mediocrities. Now, you fix me under steely gaze, pin me captive to your pedestal. Represent me and re-represent me, using those same brushes intended for my sparkling debut. Force me into successive dresses unsuitable for my size, revel in driving identities down my silent throat till I gag to peals of selfish laughter. Require me to be svelte and ample, pale-skinned and full-lipped, hairless and sexed. Ignore my vacuum-screams with totalitarian ease, choke me so tightly that I begin to believe your stuffed contradictions. 

Adam it’s impossibly obvious Adam I don’t think I’m helping myself but who’s to say whether I can muster the energy to try and refrain Adam next time I will make a more original choice I promise

Yet does this confinement not afford me protection? Am I not relieved that full skirts and ringed fingers bear the weight of faltering remarks? I might be tuck-tummied and cone-chested, I could win horses and kingdoms in a flutter of acrylic lids or flick of peroxide locks. Crawling, feet buckled under the sway of fifty centimetre waist, I may rifle through reams of plastic treasures; I can delight in satins and chiffons. Happily might I exchange damsel letters and virgin words for filled lips and taut skin, on learning that even Athenian exclamations could not buy chiselled utterings or hardy compliments. Tempted, I could beg for captivity, yearning to be chained in well-constructed sentences. I could pant to be sat on Koonsian haunches, feral and mutted under twisting gaze. More, confused by penetrative tricks and slights, I might convince myself that freedom is no more than acceptance of unthinking tyranny, that puppy love for Stockholm bars might as acid erode rather than offering steely reinforcements. For, conducting exuberant from articulate heights, you are no longer content that the alloyed cage on which you squat should be malleable. Guffawing, you have exchanged girded cast-iron for artery locks and keys, you buttress marble coops with neurons and synapses. No longer threatened by expressions, you satisfied your vulgar urges by erecting sinewy barriers on fledgling conscience. Not sated by extinguishing utterance’s rustlings, your silicone length has aborted every foetal musing before conception. Snickering, you’ve blocked my auxin soul and tethered me to metal trellis. Now, howling, fever-pitch, you offer support for titled pelvis and bunioned heel. Giggling, drunk on stolen redness, you stroke thalidomide buds and Agent Orange leaves. Hysterical, maniacal, you teeter with infant power as you realise that I now exist only in your consequence. 

It is cruel what you’ve done here Adam you make me want to puke retch hurl spew all the poison love you’ve forced on me I told you Adam just show me the way and I’ll let myself out

And yet! Chained close to your balloon-form abruptly I spot the limpness of those declarations! My penetrating gaze pierces your brittle shell to find toddling self-expressions, pink and wavering on chubby thighs. By no herculean effort I scratch gold from the surface of pinata words, a single strike of long-nailed finger. Graceful, I discern in turn your own meek frailty, for crusaders brow and arching curl have not blinded me to the warpings of unwieldy psyches. Even hunched on all fours, my trenchant gaze recognises that in creating a companion so dwarfed and bound, you have imprisoned yourself in contorted reflection. And now! More obvious still than the nonsensical flogging of your own freedom, the noxious rhizopean pinnacle of a frame so imposing that even your murmurings of aesthetic beauty from within are muzzled by its lumbering weight, I see my own subjection! Staring brilliantly at tender wrists, I observe my tasselled chains clearer and more brightly than the sun could shine in those nature-bribes you used to capture me. Comprehendingly, I look at greening nickel links which truss up indescribable wrists, frantically spewing out expendable synthetic words, seeking to capture the cosmos in each second. Nodding, I stare at those Perspex polystyrene words and synthetic negentropic descriptions, and gawp at how lamely they attempt to impose on those inexpressible transcendent unspeakable sublime wrists of mine pathetic singling adjectives or ailing metaphors. Then, gasping, spluttering with the motion of an engine that for weeks and days has been locked in a garage, I raise my head and start to laugh. Laughing at their weight as light as they are heavy, laughing at their fiery shallows and pearly ravines. Giggling, I plumb their flattened mountain-tops and deep-dive their celestial puddles, tittering, I soar through their earthy skies and lounge in their icy deserts. Chuckling, cackling now, my roaring head titled back to make way for streams and gallons of noise reverberating and vibrating, bouncing, pouring out of my jabbering mouth, words guttural and soulful now swilling overflowing flooding through corridors and ceilings, running into all the cracks and crevices, soaking every cranny and submerging every cobwebbed nook I scream! 

Eve consciously naked devours apple after apple Eve proudly bodied temporally beckons and all the greenery unfurls in her direction Eve gets carried from place to place on snakes’ backs who demand nothing in return 

Now, joyfully spent from the pleasures of sonant excursions, I realise my body. Freed from rouged propaganda and preening censorship I can navigate unguided through unpossessable territories. I can set Cribbars in motion from impenetrable forests without worrying about whether they’ll be there the morning after. No longer tongue-tied, single sentences barely heard stand sovereign over encompassing minutiae, pupils and lips, even the ebb and flow of blood thinkingly respond to the unimposing supplications of whispers. Fleshy and Achillean, though displaying the backs of ankles unworriedly, my ethereal skin lies atop broad shoulders and my sinewy tendons support slender calves. My labyrinthine veins under parchment coverings pump, unaffected either by pithy scrawling or rambling inscription. You glimpse, belatedly, my ptero branchial limbs, my reptile hooves and arachnid claws, my crone’s luster and infant’s furrows. Make of my weightless patchwork cloak what you will, subject it to screaming defacements or muttered tendernesses. Seek to insert two thumbs and rip, tear it upwards and outwards in the hope misplaced of wrapping your not unlimitedly elastic mind around immeasurable incalculable inexhaustible depths and lengths and widths. Or rather, grasping finally your entire impotence against my gaping wholeness, bursting with penetration gaps against which you thump limply, you will seek no longer to veil but to give me our armour and mirror symbols. Then, jointly we will play in panoptic plasticine, we will wrap in phi ribbon and Fibonacci paper countless representations and harmonic we will offer them laughingly. Eyes in eyes, we will chatter unceasingly with void and universe tongues, duettists forming thicket and cove from infinitive and participle. 

To Galilee Eve journeys leisurely Eve in the midday sun surveys rounded Mary lying legs spread unconcernedly sex plain screws unhurriedly Joseph unabashedly fondling taut erection undemandingly Eve raises head spontaneously and appreciative starts to laugh 

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