Small round circle. Cut in to her flesh. Darker on the right side, deeper than she remembered. Edge of hair and skin, in the middle of her very being. She had a chance to examine it closely, more than ever. Memorizing every bump, every hair follicle, every pore. A slice of empty. That she didn’t know if she was looking at beauty or horror. Was she missing something. Was she completed by this graceful divot. Sometimes her belly-button sickened her, and sometimes she couldn’t help but admire.
One thing she did know. Under that surface of flesh, there was a constant ache. Pressing from the inside out. Punching violently, with a soft and perpetual pain. She couldn’t look away. From the nucleus of her own body. Feeling every moment, hunger, desire, disappointment, Feeling every feeling. High and low, flutters and vomit. Her belly. The core. Her center.
Every day, for who knows how many years now, she started at her belly. She looked fo the answer to her pain and trouble. Dreaming of a medicinal solution, the perfect morsel that would solve her hunger, the final solution to her search for fulfillment. Could she get any closer to what would cure the struggle. Yet, every day, she fell more in love. With the curve of her belly. How the world pulsed and swayed to the swell of her breath. Light and seasons rotated around her. As she pressed herself deeper inside. To kiss her own skin.
Every day, for who knows how many years, she contorted her spine. Stretching the vertebrate to focus more heavily. Cementing the position, turning towards her own inward. Easier to sit, comforting to sleep, curved into her self-made creature. Hair grew long, covering her naked thighs. Eyes grew dim, in the shadows of herself. Ears compacted with her waxy lies. She trained herself diligently to sit unquestioning. She learned by now how to look at what mattered. Her center. Her self. Her belly.
There were the times for her to listen, to raise up her head. There were the moments when someone said something. Calling her to see other than her own smooth skin. Sounds from the outside would covet her attention, and she couldn’t look up. She couldn’t risk losing herself. If she moved her eyes for even a moment. Away from herself. What would happen, if she didn’t focus. On herself. An outside voice. A sound she didn’t know, not from inside of her. It was completely unsafe, unwarranted, unwanted.
But even if she wanted to, there was no possible way that she would even be able to look away, look up. Her back had become deformed, over the years her ears had closed up, new skin had muffled and confused those outside words. Strands of thick oily locks concealed rotting bloody skin, that she mistook as flawless. And there was no other place for her to look, to see, to behold. Except her own. Belly. There was no other thing that was visible. Except her own hunger, desire, and pain.
She was paralyzed. In a circle. In her own circle. Curved in on herself. Unable to see. Unable to hear. Impressed by her center. Happy in her world. Which was the center of the universe, as far as she could see. As far as she could know. How could she know any different? Now that she was all she could see?
And even there, saturated illusions of freedom and magnificence, One looked up. Stretching straight up to the heavens, He saw the face of God. Settled in the dust where she sweat, His hands and His side opened wide. He stroked her hair, and she believed it was true. He was first. She would follow.