The Rubies on the Skin

Simon Whitechapel

Like the albino insects flown against them, the bayadères were entirely blind, raised in hermetic darkness from childhood that their skin might be suitably bleached and immaculate for the dances each, after the menarche, would perform sola before the ruby-studded ivory Idol of their Goddess. They danced naked and with necessary slowth, drenched in silver shafts of moonlight, skin patterned with shining dots of a floral essence onto which, from the whining skeins released to wind them, mosquitoes would settle to feast and swell, till each girl, her slender feet finding and spurning the heated tiles amid cool that certified her steps, was a living simulcrum of the Idol, her ivory-pale flesh studded with blood-gorged mosquitoes as Its true ivory was with rubies, spiraling to the omphalos, to each high and petal-nippled breast, picking out the labia, raying the nates and thigh-hollows, and serving as rings on each snowy digit.

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