Inked at birth

I was dark-washed in ink when I was born. And no one saw, not my mother, no nurse. My father recognized the oil sinking in, but couldn’t understand
what it was, he couldn’t understand what it was
in himself, to protect me.

It seeped through soft, porous skin, found my chest and settled:  lay suction over my heart; a cold hand on my lungs and before I even took my first breath it was entwined, filtering the pure oxygen for itself.

If I open my mouth wide enough, you can see the fingers squeezing.
My bones growing around it the way tree boles swallow fencing wire. We exist the way ivy overcomes a white house. It’s the ivy. I’m the house.

And on days like today, I feel the dark tentacles crawling up my throat. A cecaelia after my voice.  I don’t want to eat because I’ll feed it. I’d rather sleep and let my subconscious reign it in, wrestle it the way only dreams can. When I feel that sea witch coming, I’m afraid to open my mouth. But my voice is the only thing that continues to save me.

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6 Responses to Inked at birth

  1. Ms. Moon says:

    Darlin’. Oh, darlin’.

    • rachvb says:

      I think the only way to make it go away is write it. It’s a compass, I think. Gets me back on track. Makes that unknown less scary. Once I give it a voice it goes. It’s a small part – doesn’t entirely define me, but it’s there. Tonight I’m going out and will laugh my ass off 🙂 thank you, ms. Moon. Xoxo

  2. oh hon. you were born to write. that’s why the ink. so you would write. so we could read you and breathe out in awe.


    • rachvb says:

      Angella, thank you for reading here and for your love and support always. It means the world knowing you are out there. Merry Christmas with your babies!! xoxo

  3. I agree with Angella, Rachel – the ink arrived so that you can write, and always write. This is an astounding portrait.

    Much love xo

    • rachvb says:

      Claire, forgive my tardiness in responding. I’ve been avoiding the computer the last few days as it means I’m probably back at work…
      Thank you. It didn’t occur to me when I started writing this that my internal ink was also my external ink. I saw it as dark, depressive, sad. At times it is that, but those times don’t last long and perhaps it means I have an excess of ink building up =)

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