Topography by Marianne Simon

It is a leg, pale white, with golden hairs glowing in the stark lamp light. I touch her skin. I feel the goose pimples of her flesh and am intrigued by the 3 dimensionality of the cuts.

I run my fingers along them like ridges on the sand. Up and over the smooth mountains of her welling blood. At the perimeter, there are less of them, spread out like the edges of a spider web. And I travel miles as I run my finger from one line to the next. But as I move towards the middle there are more of them, closer together. Less skin, more ridges.

What do I read in the topography of her leg?
With this cut I read a father’s touching,
With this cut I read a husband’s betrayal,
With this cut I read a daughter’s loss,
With this cut I read her rape,
With these cuts I read despair.

The cuts in the middle are so close now there is no skin. There is no reading them at all.

On a map of topography we can see if it is a mountain or a valley. The blood is her mountains. The skin is her valley. But there is so much mountain, so little valley. In the middle I cannot read her at all.

Let me read your cuts. Let me touch your mountains. Let my fingers, my spit, my water, smooth the blood away. Let my fingers ease the pain, let my fingers read the Braille that is your leg.

We joke of it later. But in my dreams I touched her leg. I cannot forget. Cannot imagine what it would take to raise those mountains, to feel those cuts.

Marianne Simon

downloadBorn to a family of artists, Marianne has spent her life exploring creativity in its many facets. For over 20 years she trained and worked as an actress and director. She also received a degree in Landscape Architecture and founded her landscape design company, Poetic Plantings, as a way to incorporate her love for growing things. It is this blending of nature and the human spirit that inspires her writings the most. She is currently developing a performance piece, Skins I Have Worn, that explores the journey of women through their dark nights of the soul.