Avant que tout s’effondre par Noémie Ksicova

NOEMIE KSICOVA

Before everything collapses

Before everything is swept away, you’re waking up, it’s neither dark, nor is it day. As you open your eyes, you can see silence and hear the horizon. Slugs are climbing along your bare legs. In the distance, the owl is hooting and the wolf has become silent. You, flesh of the earth can feel buds growing in the small cracks on your body. In a short while, your body is covered with them. We can now barely see the whiteness of your skin. You took your shoes off, then started to walk and have never stopped since. You went where there are neither roads nor trails anymore.

Before everything is swept away, your bare body is hiding in the bushes, you’re holding your breath, lying in wait. Within the night, your body stands erect and an unheard, uncompromising guttural sound bursts out. You‘ll never hear it again, you didn’t know you were able to let out such a cry. But you are and it is formidable, it was born long before you did. 

Before everything is swept away your body leans, rears back and bends to a state we believed had died out. Claws are growing under your nails and marking the earth. 

Before everything is swept away, when all is white around and covered in snow, fur has been growing on your skin, it is soft and warm, and now you can no longer be seen in the landscape. You’re here and yet invisible. 

Before everything is swept away, scales are growing on your body, gills are drawing a mesh on your face as you’re watching from afar. You may be contemplating your past; you can’t be sure. The night is glowing, and in the depths of the sea, an octopus is winding around your webbed limbs. 

Before everything is swept away, you’re running; yet still, you don’t have legs anymore, you may have wings instead or nothing at all. You can hear your own breath as you’re gasping for breath. You’re running across forests, hopping over seas, rolling about in plains, climbing mountains and jumping from icebergs to rocks. 

Before everything is swept away, right before it happens, I’m running towards you, towards us. We’ve never met each other. You may be outside a theatre or a cinema or even elsewhere. You are many and we are alike. I’m offering you a cigarette, we may share it, we may even share a beer can. Yes, we may. On this very day, sharing this very cigarette, drinking this beer together is not some attempted murder. On this day, we even tell each other how sharing some saliva may save our lives. 

Sharing a kiss before everything is swept away. Kissing full on the lips just because you find her attractive, just because you find him attractive. 

Before everything is swept away, asserting the contour of our embracing bodies will remain, as we’re embracing each other till the end. 

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