11th thread: My mother was the most beautiful woman on the island.

Tiepolo Henri III arrive a Contarini

Berthe Morisot femme et fille au chapeauSensual shell:coquillage sensuelFemme sous cloche Louise BourgeoisWarneator femme nu:woman study

My father had the most beautiful wife on the island. Her black hair was thick and silky, her eyes bright, her teeth pearly. She never went out, Papa said we did not need her to tend the animals or to go to market. She spoke little. I would have loved for her to take care of me. When I asked, when I hugged her waist, she would scold me. Yet she was not so busy.

Susanne and the Elders detail In the morning she embroidered her clothes, which a blind aunt had woven. When the old woman had finished a fabric, Mama would drape herself in its folds. She stroke its surface with her hands. Then she turned her attention to her hair. She rubbed a drop of oil in her fingers and smoothed them until they shone like the gold necklace that adorned her neck. Sometimes she let me comb her, if she was in the right mood. The servant would heat water in a large basin. My mother took a pure silver plate that my father had given her and poured a little water. Then, holding her breath to avoid rippling the surface, she bent and looked at herself. They say on the island that one of my ancestors was the child of a faun, but my great-aunt told me that is not true, she was a princess and married my great-grandmother’s father, that’s why Mama is so beautiful.

Then she poured in the water a few drops of a precious fragrance. She undressed. I knew that I would never ever be as beautiful as Mama. She dipped a cloth in the scented water and stroke her body. Everywhere. I could see her breasts, they trembled when she cleaned her back. She ignored that I was looking. If her belly swelled, another brother would be born a few months later. She slept during the day. I knew no one who lay down so much. I would near her bed on tiptoes. Was she really sleeping? Her eyelids quivered, they hid me from her, they hid how much I loved her, how much I needed her.


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  • Anonymous

    Very elemental and grounded but also somehow metaphorical, childlike but also sensual and adult…i guess because maybe in reality there is no distinction between those oppositions at all

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