My flesh, greedy for touch, threatens to swallow itself in hunger. I imagine myself an ouroboros, ring-like and unbroken instead of the scattered drops of quicksilver I am, with only surface tension to hold my pieces together and being ever-fearful of rough jostling, lest I split again into smaller pieces. Yet this new hunger is not the bottomless pit of old, ravening even at feasts. It is a craving that passes like a cloud in front of the moon in late Autumn, dimming the lanterns of the fairies, each lit with a starlight frost crystal before slipping across the countryside on the wind.
Wait! Wait! I cry, Come back! but there is only the wind cool on my skin. I add another wind of scarf to my neck, tuck my chin down, and dream of Spring, which I know turns towards me and will sustain me through the gnawing of Winter’s undernourishment still to come.
I wonder at the men dwelling in their eternal Summer of starvation, sweaty in their endless huntings. I too, once roamed those fields in that distant country. How so long ago it feels, though I know time is deceptive, just as as I now know some of the deceptions men spoke of—mistaking unchosen fasting for famine as only one of them.
That life is so far away now I can no longer see it in my mind’s eye, but some of its calcium is still in my bones, each atom a tiny lodestone that tugs at me but too weak to pull me back. Slowly they are being replaced from the soil of my new land and I doubt I’ll notice when the process is complete.
Sometimes I miss the hunger of that place, usually when my spirit moves me to eat. Then I discover my eyes are often bigger than my stomach when I sit down for a meal and I find myself pushing or pulling the unwilling flesh spread about my plate. Any irritation at leaving a full meal dissipates quickly. It is easier to store leftovers than cook anew and my frugality no longer surprises me.
I happier having seasons and being in the land I inhabit now. I have no appetite for perpetual hunger and no need to gorge when I draw upon sustenance from within.
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