by Alis Hamilton.
CW: implied sexual violence, self-harm/suicide
Tahlia McKinnon’s "origins" feels, to perhaps put it too obviously, wrong. There’s something in the deep stomach flipping violence of human connection that pulls at the brokenness inside us all. This creative nonfiction lends itself to poetry; all rich imagery; a separation of reality to an emotional state. The metaphor breathes life into the narrative like the narrator tries to breathe life into her dangerous lover. The way she pulls in the Garden of Eden and speaks of Eve’s fall as her sacrifice—love as the opening of wounds, the acceptance of hurt to heal another’s hurting.
I loved the softness of sympathy in fingers trailing along cigarette burns, the disturbance in my chest at the scrabbling need to force another to be the voice that screams for the speaker's own hurts. The shared violence of sex brings tougher lovers, and it separates them when outside Eden. The space for hurt, destruction, and love—they are unrecognizable as dressed up beings no longer violent and vulnerable.