Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer
There was once a moon that orbited nothing. A shale-strewn grey sphere hung wedged in the sticky primordial trap of a very particular gravitational crossroads.
A lifeless nothing that became a fertile canal. A moistened fingertip with which to turn a final page.
On exactly opposing sides of its enormous equator plunge equally titanic craters. Not forged by impact nor internal tectonic caress — they are nonetheless fashioned for purpose.
As a blacksmith pounds beaming steel across an anvils rearing horn.
As a mother cups her belly and feeds with her fingers the festering cell that grows within.
Two bites from a lovers apple.
One crater suckles the dead from the darkness and the other spit-gushes newly primed life through a pulsing chamber rich with mucilage and wax.
We are again birthed upon the sheet plain. Bathed beneath the dancing beams that skim the rampart wall that severs this universe from that that is the next.
This is the estuary of a birth canal from where space thins and the dead can peer through and down and into their own flesh. Into the wilting tree of its capillary bloom and out along the gentle stretch of their ever-long fingers — as they reach up and move like the torn threadbare tips of a battle-worn pennant. Nails brush against the face of that which lays slowly stirring through the pane of the celestial cot so very close, but so very far from ours.
The crater creators began as microbes. Infinitely tiny creatures circling a single grain of sand on exactly opposite sides of this rock. They spun and they spun and wore into the grey until the effort became too much and so they each divided into two. And then two again and again until a great sweeping swath army had formed. The deeper they dug the more they evolved and legs grew where none were before and arms sprouted with claws at their tips.
Millennia folded into millennia and still the creatures dug and claws became razor-edged shovels that they used to gash openings between their own legs and into these jagged slits they shovelled the slag and it raged in the furnace of their core. And the detritus it did render to gossamer ash that the creatures then bawled out in agonising prayer and it floated away in flutes of glittering fumes — as if multicoloured diesel oil caught in the flow of a mighty cosmic stream.
As they worked they sung a beautiful pulsing rhythm and in the brief moments that they paused they looked up and saw the toil light of the other side and it made them smile.
Once the craters were complete the things each took to burrowing at their centres. Digging ever deeper into the moon and those that died were stripped of their silica shells and they were laid and embedded into the cup of the great craters earth-facing scoop.
There came a day when the core was met and once sharp but now dulled fingers also met. A day when a cavern was formed and the things began to disassemble each other and the final part of the purpose ensued. They did pull away limbs and redirect veins and arteries until nothing of themselves was left.
Nothing of their memories.
Nothing of their purpose.
Nothing of their self.
All that was left was a machine. And it slowly began to turn and the bones clicked and sheared until they whirred into a perfect vacuum hum.
I do not know why but this moon it gathers souls — for want of a better word. It gathers the dust of humanity’s spent existence and pulls it through a hollowed moon and places us here. Not as babes, but as we were. Faces split with age, ripped by violence or taken by cancerous rot and we are flung into a field of sweet smelling wax.
I am standing next to an young woman from Hranie. She smiles and shows me the sickle edge that cupped and gouged into the gentle wave of her teenage belly. And she inhales and her head fills with sickly smoke as the barn burns and the smoulder cinders fall upon her families jag shaped ruin.
I am nothing.
I am worthless and my reflection sews the vomit into my mouth.
The next world sags above my head. A bulbous belly ready to split and offer nothing but endless beautiful hope.
I don’t know why I am here.