It was time for my deflowering.
I got to that age, like my sisters before me.
I’d heard telling of it happening with boys and men,
but we do things differently here.
Our lives are unnaturally long,
preserved in pre-teen beauty.
Men and boys in the towns talk about us,
with an outward aversion, an inward lust.
Their wives spit on the sign of our homestead,
the little one at the end of our road,
so much you can hardly make it out no more.
I heard of it once,
of the horror of the first time,
spoken in a hushed and hurried tone.
She was whipped on the dinner table,
tied to four corners,
her white, delicate hide welting,
then tearing and splitting.
The stains in the wood remind us every meal to stay quiet.
But I’d heard enough,
just enough to fire up some thinking.
I had seen the hole before,
at the base of the big oak in the center of the clearing
where we do all the chanting and bleeding of the goats.
We call it our church.
We do that differently here too.
He waits there, kind of sleeping.
He knows when we get to age,
when it comes time for the next girl.
We can’t talk of the last time we refused.
My sis is the only one left from those times,
and she ain’t talking no more.
I stood before the base of that tree,
naked and trembling in the cold drizzle.
My kin was watching, my sis had the shotgun.
I had to go to Him, just like they did.
I laid down on my back, feet toward the hole,
the ground just starting to get turned to mud.
I barely noticed the cold hand
wrapping its grip around my ankle.
Down I went, into that hole with Him.
He was inside me, cold and slimy as the mud.
I couldn’t see so good but I could see enough,
just enough to see them horns and the whites of His teeth,
pointed ones like my dogs got.
It felt like I was gonna rip in two,
tearing and splitting like my sister’s skin on the dinner table.
I spat out of the hole when he was done,
right out there on the mud in front of my kin.
I wasn’t supposed to,
but I couldn’t help but cry.
Tied to the four corners of the dinner table,
sulphur smells and candle light,
The baying of the goats,
flashes of light and booming of thunder.
Might seem a strange way for me to bring a new sister into the world,
but we do that a little differently here too.