1. Lateral Rectus
These eyes have seen many leaves, mapped many ecosystems. They have spotted butterflies, observing them in their natural habitats for hours before stalking them and pouncing. The insects fill his drawers, locked away from the world’s gaze in a perpetual night time. Once upon a time they spotted a young woman.
2. Depressor Anguli Oris
This jaw has birthed a wealth of words and described the intricacies of flight. It has swallowed sweet nectar, composed sweet nothings, sung tunes to be carried on a whispering wind. Once upon a time the young woman whispered back.
3. Abductor Pollicis Brevis
These hands have sketched many wings, drawn countless lifecycles. Many a caterpillar has supped on this palm, many a wing been carefully embalmed by these fingers. Once upon a time the young woman took his hand to be her own.
4. Flexor Digitorum Brevis
These feet have hiked up many peaks and through towering valleys. They have danced for joy in a time of transformation. A girl? A boy? Monarchs may be sexed by a dark spot on their dorsal wing. Once upon a time the woman’s belly was ripe and she was bound to her bed.
This heart has beat for only one. She hid, constructed a chrysalis around her swelling until the fever peaked. He touched her face. A butterfly catheter, a swarm of white coats, two tiny shoes, perpetual night time … Mariposa Fernandez.
Once upon a time she broke his heart.
When he woke up it was dark.
The man didn’t really like the dark, he was rather afraid of it, but he decided to go for a walk because he could not sleep. ‘There is nothing to be afraid of’ he told himself. And so he went outside and down the street and then he decided to cross the road, and he was nearly at the other side when a car came along, and the car didn’t see the man.
Then the man was lying on the road in the night and he was feeling pain, but another feeling, a sort of tingling-all-over sensation as well. He looked at his legs and noticed that one of his bones was poking out, and there was something warm and sticky all over him and he realized that it must be blood. The man tried to move, but found he couldn’t. So he lay there in the dark and the blood and after a while he began to feel rather afraid, and he started to cry because he didn’t really like the dark. And also he was hurting.
But then the man looked at the sky, and it was nearly morning, and he remembered what he had told himself before he left, ‘There is nothing to be afraid of.’ He looked at the sky and the sky grew lighter and lighter and his blood became redder and redder, and he knew there was nothing to be afraid of because morning was coming. Morning. So he smiled, as his life leaked away, he smiled, and then everything went dark because he closed his eyes. Closed his eyes and went to sleep.
When he woke up it was dark.
There is a cobweb in the corner. A small green spider scuttles over the outermost threads and is pounced on, devoured, by a pair of thick hairy legs. Not devoured, sucked. Poisoned. Left for later. You don’t see many little green spiders.
This little green spider had a family, fifteen brothers and twenty-six sisters. Just like in the story books, except these spiders didn’t wear little bonnets and aprons because that would just look stupid. They actually led a very straightforward spiderly life and strung webs out in the evening and ate midges and occasionally one another. They had no qualms about cannibalism because blood always tastes better if it is not your own. These little green spiders had plenty of blood.
Just before this particular little green spider met his demise he had been knitting a pair of socks. Not because he wanted to wear the socks, but because he was experimenting with his identity. Someone had once told him that knitting was the path to true enlightenment, and being the open-minded little green spider that he was, he decided to give it a try. One sock was larger than the others. He used to wear it as a balaclava. This impaired his vision somewhat, and hence he failed to see the trip threads or the two thick and hairy legs, which were attached to two very lethal fangs, until it was too late.
This little green spider always tried to take an upbeat view of life. Hence, he experienced the tingling burn of the venom with a detached fascination. ‘How interesting,’ he thought. ‘I wonder what is going on?’ Then his legs fell off and with them his socks he had worked so hard to produce and the little green spider felt a pang of sorrow for all the effort he had invested in producing such fine footwear.
This development did, however, give the little green spider a moment to contemplate his existence without his legs and socks and other associated baggage. At this moment he happened to notice the dust on the window and the way the individual grains kaleideskoped themselves together and as this was the last thing the little green spider ever saw, he invested huge significance in the one blue spot of grime amongst the brown-red dust.