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Watch: The Body Neglected

2 Nov

Dayma rose with the late winter sun, twisting her hair into a knot, her saree coiled tightly around her hips, and stepped into the courtyard to wash. The stone floor felt cold to her bare soles. It matched the freeze that spread itself through her loins. Uninterrupted, they were left to themselves: drowsy, hibernating, patted fondly to sleep.

Her duty as oldest daughter-in-law began and ended in the kitchen, and the noise and chaos of their large household came to a firm halt in the silence and stillness of their clean-to-a-fault bedroom.

Dayma thought of herself as a healer, the comforter of baby boo-boos, applicator of turmeric on kitchen cuts, banisher of in-laws’ migraines, reliever of joint pain, soother of ruffled spirits.

Dayma was a human ice pack, the chill drawn from her unstirred vaginal walls that housed a castle with a geriatric spinning cobwebs under its attic.

She radiated calm, even composure, as she stepped back into the bedroom and placed the earthen container of steaming tea by her meditating husband’s prostrate form.