One night there is nowhere to hide; I am scrambling for a still place. My vaginal canal is my last possible option so with one hand I grip myself by the pelvic bone, between thumb and forefinger. I reach deeper where it is sticky, where the membranes flower, and I put my arm in up to my elbow, then my shoulder, then my whole head. My salty eyeballs blend with the salty slick of my mucus. I bump into the taut shell of the cervix. It won’t relax open for me, slippery and improbably hard; I put my ear up against it and instead of the ocean I hear my lungs echoing muddily through my body, the welter of organs slopped together in a brine of fat. I press my mouth on my cervix and hum it open like one of those clams that holds a pearl inside. I am sliding upward into the continuous tongue of my uterus. There is no pearl. Suddenly, it’s impossible to breathe, stuck in the crags of myself; I’m too big for my own opening. Like a shell trying to close around the ocean, my ribs break, and my skull crumples and then I am dissolved by my own pressure and I seep into my bloodstream. A lot of me drifts into my small intestine; I am palpated upward by my circuits of vessels. Pulse by pulse I pass through the mouth of my heart. On the other side things move fast and I rise into the thick lattice of my brain, where it’s salty too; suddenly I’m blooming in the iris of my eye. I’ve spread all over my body, and I don’t know where I am. I feel foamy and disparate the way water must when it’s in a crashing wave. According to fixed point theorem: a whirlpool will always have one point in it that is completely still, and maybe a body that has crawled back into itself will have one point that is in the exact same place as before.

Nat(alie) Wilkinson is a white queer person who lives in Philadelphia and is from Bozeman, Montana. They like writing about plants, bodies and plant bodies, and the ingenuity available all around us to fight death-making institutions (a term coined by Miriame Kaba) and to support worldbuilding. Wilkinson works in the farm/food system. More: Instagram @snittlesnattle