Sometimes beasts enter into you all solemn, smelling like your mamas chicken.
Sometimes they give you their names early and you mistake this willingness for nervous excitement instead of warning. Sometimes your blood is screaming in your nanas voice and you pretend to not hear. She is writhing in her skin. You feel the drums. All of the Great Ones before you know what will happen next.
Your skin is prickly. Again, you mistake it for excitement. This man beast smiles at you and you realize that he’s already there. Here. Consent is not a word yet. He almost breaks your neck when you say something that sounds like no. When he is not around, you talk to yourself. I thought I was careful. Or at least that I’d recognize the break. Hear myself tear open. I think he is watching, I must clean the dishes better. I need to take care of myself. I am sheep skin. Dirty. I must make sure that I am doing right by him.
At night I hear my mothers. They say, “You will birth more beasts like this one. Can you live with that?” And somewhere in there I know that this is our history. That they thought there was redemption for him. That deep down there was some piece of not-rot.
I take no chances. I killed him slowly. I will not lie to you, a part of me died with him.
And now, we will live.