Philip Quinn

I mean I saw the cut-out letters spelling out BRIDAL SHOWER and knew there would be a party that night out on my neighbour's back deck. I understood what that meant and knew that a tree had been cut down and pulped to produce the paper. I mean I understood about the goshawk that used to nest in that tree and how when it rained the leaves arced towards the east and the drops flowed down, cresting just on the lip of the nest for the hatchlings to sip at, like a fountain.
I mean I could almost feel each leave fall off and land on the ground that had last been trammeled by a pack of girl guides in 1964, leaving a little Bazooka gum wrapper that slowly broke down from the rain, and fed into the roots before that first painful cut of the chainsaw made splintery a bittersweet frothing tea, a sweet smell of green blood.
I mean there I was hung, not particularly well, the L drooping, but you know I could almost encourage the memory of that bird again, the drift of a solitary feather from the edge of its scapulars. The only murder I had ever witnessed was centuries ago, two soldiers, fighting, dropping their broken weapons so they were pulling and chewing at each other until they split open like the halves of a single seed.
If you look at the fifth ring in from my axiomatic centre, you'll see how it bulges during the three months following their deaths.
I was just a mist of moisture on the underarm of the girl raising her hand up in the air screaming as Del Sotto Voca was playing.
I was just a crevasse between her arm and her chest like a hairless cunt.
I occupied all of the girls, the screams traveling through the plaster, hitting the wood, then the siding, moving through the air, travelling through the brick, through the plaster into my ear so I was hooked each time the arms went up into the air. The shriek the mouths made connected the sandy soil with the roots, the stems and leaves, and a communal dribble in my underwear, lubrication, sweat, and piss.
In that moment when I was nine women, I selected one to sacrifice, communicating with the cellular knowledge in her right breast, the minotaur is no longer in a cave, nobody believes in monsters, I mean nobody believes in them anymore.
So internally, we move, up go the arms past the paper letters of BRIDAL SHOWER touching the undercarriage of the goshawk ruffling feathers like a breeze that had its origins somewhere around Cape Horn, drifted down into the water, then moved with the currents, a drift of a plastic Pepsi bottle one dead man-of-war jellyfish, the tentacles bobbing up and down in a loose paroxysm of dance.
A light ray travelling 186,000 miles per second warms it, and warms the water around it so it moves a little faster in and out, the moving arms feather-like and like that dusting of hair on the head which launches with each dance bounce, and the razor that always mists up on the underside of the arm which goes up freely once more like a broken piece of biology and liberty.
You can call me the monster. I call it remembering the bird and my previous life as a tree, and hating just that loose squeak of girl energy that moves nowhere but lies suspended in the humid summer air.
I recall how softly the girl guides trudged over my sheddings, one of them taking out a knife and cutting a mark to guide their return. The pain penetrating my stereoscopic ecstasy, crashing my sleep and awakening me again.
I do not seek justice that is an abstraction unwatered and withered.
The goshawk dying in a frost two years later, its beak propped open by the first bug to start chewing before it too dies from the cold and is ghosted by the snow until late March and everything becomes water and moisture and up go the hands in the air, shrieking, it's either surrender or ecstasy. I don't care. I select my victim and feel the warmth already in my expanding roots.