Excerpt from The Americ Book of Death


The body lay on a platform that took up the bulk of the room. She looked Aztec or Incan. Her lower lip was stretched up and over the upper and pinned in place with a twig. Her eyes stitched shut with pink yarn. A new mother lay with her baby beside her. Her being her, the dead, but also her, the mother and her, the baby. Three generations of the inevitable.

The mother writhed and moaned while the baby lay on it’s back wiggling and waving it’s limbs like an insect. The way LSD or CHI pulses in the body making it impossible to relax. I think babies spend a good deal of time trying their bodies on for size. Or trying to break free, I can’t decide.

The mother got up and left the room, leaving the baby who calmed down in her absence.

Our yoga class, left with no room for floor work, lined up against the wall and OMMed but I didn’t know the correct frequency so I stayed silent. A man, of course, it was a man, preached lava and soapstone over the dirge and it became too much for one of the yoginis, Lillith, who threw herself on the floor at my feet.

“Jesus didn’t die for my sins!” Lillith cried as she pulled me down to lay on top of her. Are we mourning the dead or the living? I wondered as I supported myself over Lillith’s body by pushing against the floor on either side of her with my arms and knees. Lillith was having none of it and she pulled me down, heavily between her legs. She needed gravity and the weight of my body to ground her as she writhed. Her hands explored the contours of my blue jean-covered inner thighs, my rump, the lines around my scrotum.

The preacher Man continued to declare and declaim on the topic of rights and responsibilities. The yogis continued to OM. I allowed myself to continue to struggle against Lillith’s efforts to transcend our fleshly bodies.

Death comes to all and it is good. Death is born in our tiny bodies at the moment of release from the womb and it is she who determines when it is time to fight our way out of this earthly realm and back into our pre-birth bodies.

Death is a squirming baby, waiting to make sense of her place in the scheme of of this garden of eating.

Death is an indigenous woman, stuffed and displayed in a museum of culture and anthropology.

Death is a desperate orgasm achieved as a defense against time.

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