Ruminants

Jess Dutschmann
 

The twelve of us have been sitting in the basement for weeks waiting for mom to come out. We saved up candy and potato crisps so waiting would be easy. Now we’ve got green dust on our fingers that smells like sour cream onions. One of our sisters brought us a jar of yellow powder that’s sticky and sweet. We pour it all over everything, but it just makes us want more. We can’t stop doing it. We are waiting for our mother. Our mom locked us in the basement.

Our sisters name call and spit fun when we’re not looking right at each other. When we avert our gaze the room splits, splits again, a hundred times, a glass cylinder of glass cylinders. God drawing math on our wings. Hundred-acre fog. A world peace hardened by time and avoidance.

The wolf dug tunnels nearest ours again. The wolf looks in. She can feel where we are. The wolf is like my mom but wants to keep me in a closet, feed me to her babies, my guts overflowing for them.

When the wolf grabs me she does it to the back of my neck. I feel a tearing, feel her harsh kiss numb me. I feel my hundred eyes dribble down my body into black.

When I awake a small soft body is consuming me. I see my sisters blurry, all curled into crescent moons soft skeletoned and gentle. I see them writhe in shadow. To think we all carried knives–nothing works against a wolf. The small body is made out of glass.

The glass body takes all of me into it until I can see how yellow and sick I have become. I feel myself become the glass body. I am small and new and blind. I am so hungry.