It is cold and behind the hills the golden rays have turned to rust. The party is over. The men are groaning corpses on the couch, men you herded into our house using the sway of your hips, wordless promises they followed like a trail. We trip over them on our way to the fridge. You see me sitting in a corner, my small body compressed so as to appear invisible, not making a sound, and for a moment your eyes aren’t those of a mother.
Darling, you say, be a good girl and show them out.
You disappear to your bedroom with a carton of milk and leave me in the midst of your men. I unwrap myself from my arms and get up. I look down at the discarded, watch the slow breathing of carcasses.
My body is still shorter than yours, but I have been growing, my frame is light, my limbs are skinny. Your hips are rounded, your thighs heavy with sap. They are not my hips or thighs, but if genes are anything to go by I will one day grow up to look just like you.
The men hang around the corner store by the handful, one faceless buzzing cloud, and you sail through them, the sway of your hips a sticky imprint on their heat-worn minds. You feel their humid breath graze your skin, their abdomens pulling towards you, ready to sting. You laugh them off every time. You make a game of it, but never a commitment, until one day one of them is not like the others, and you let him in. Into your mind, into our home.
His dart shot straight into you, sealed you up like heavy wine. Nailed you shut like a coffin.
After him there were many others, but it wasn’t the same. Because he had been different and they were not. They sailed through our house, our lives, in and back out, rubbed against you, against our food and furniture, they stayed for dinner, some of them stayed the night.
Then autumn came and the cold washed them out, they faded with the light, sometimes leaving half-smoked cigarettes next to the couch, sticky fingerprints on a glass, taking cash with them, or the contents of the fridge. Corpses with pockets as deep as their ability for love was shallow.
Take them out, you tell me. You don’t even bother to whisper, pointing at them like residue. The sit and blankly stare, the patterns on their skin are spinning, the colour fading from their eyes. They are bodies but already they barely exist.
We’re not a hotel, you say, because what we are is a hive, your hips the hive from which we came, my sister and me and our home in its entirety, you hold us all between the bones of your hips, in the exact midst of being held and being crushed. Your hips could hold a universe, and to us, they do, they hold a home.
In springtime, when the men are strong you need them close to you, and in summer you indulge their presence, and when the light starts growing dim and their strength starts to fade so does your patience. Their wings now fail them, their faces incapable of kissing, of even a smile. I drag them to the door with diligence, their heaviness strapped to my tender back, I carry them over the threshold of our hive and I let go.
In the cold rushes of early winter air I watch their bodies tumbling down along the street, further and further away from the hive, removed from our home like a stain, tumbling down through the dark air into what cannot be other than a void.