My abdomen is haunted; riddled with girl corpses, none of them fully developed. They gaggle around in my omentum – the slippery curtain that hangs like an apron, sailing over my intestines. They cackle and elbow for attention, kick full- booted when my omentum sags, when the top apron folds over the lower, or when the strings of the apron strangulate. Or worse, when the whole lot prolapses and my bowel is left on display without its sail.
One of these occasions occurred on a summer’s day, when my corpses often leave me with gentle tides and winds, with sunlit hair and swaying grass, with sweet breath and bare feet.
This summer my omentum lagged.
We were in the lounge on a humid afternoon, the two of us with our baby. The fan oscillating, music drifting between waves of cool air. Wearing my tube dress, suddenly aware of tanned shoulders and full breasts, heart lighter, feeling a whisper of femininity, started swaying to the music. Turn it up, turn it up! I love this song. Dance with me, let’s show our baby…
“Ugh. Get off me.”
That was all he said.
Sail crashed into the ocean. Corpse’s wrenched apron strings, strangling, leaving me gasping. Then my omentum folded on itself, a full prolapse with naked organs. The corpses shrieking, twisting and lashing.
And that was all he said.
You threw me in the air, my body eclipsed the sun, meadow – blonde curls leapt away, then I tumbled into your outstretched arms, giggling all squiggly, begging you to do it again, do it again, pointing my stubby finger at the sun. You, with grass in your hair, ants swarming on your shoes, me, all blossom cheeked and grassy patterned, we’d go home, you carrying me, my head lolling onto your shoulder, eyelashes tickling your neck.
And then you packed up and left.
Katie Piper is a Brit, she lives in Wodonga, Australia with her Aussie hubby and Toddler. She teaches undergraduate nurses. Her work can be found, or is forthcoming in: Reflex Press, The Cabinet of Heed, Virtual Zine Mag and X-ray Lit Mag.