The Anguilladae Eater



He sucks at my breasts and tugs my nipples and – with one finger –presses down on the median of me until a single egg emerges from between my legs.

He smoothes the peak of my hairline and the sweaty locks around my forehead, leaving a residue of my oil on his thumb that will stay for days.

I am exhausted but will return to the ridge to watch the ships. A tall narrow spritsail, mainmast sprit-rigged.

Reef point at upper edge.




He carries my egg in a waxed leather sack. It rests within a nest of dried seaweed, warm and chalky as phosphate.

Rain today, as always.

And later I will return – cold – from the ridge at sundown and build a fire in my hearth.

As always, it will produce a black haze so thick my flesh itself turns grey.

But in its dark, gentle heat, I will let down my hair and pick it out quietly with a comb, the small bodies of my lice igniting with a hollow pop in the coals near my feet.