Half awake, the flow of brown human waste poured down the left of my body. Looking up there was the protruding toes and feet of others. The wooden shelves, which they were placed on, became their home. The rattle of chains against the wood platforms had a music of their own. The cargo seemed to be in order. They were the last remaining alive from my village.
Looking down upon my arm, the letter Z had been burned into my flesh. The song of that music fell into harmony with the other song being played. Both seemed to have a personality of its own. The melting of concepts into the melting of life. Thumping my heart gave out a small flutter into the passing moments. The beats of the heart seemed to add coordination to the past process. A song being played to those who were perceptive to its time.
The flow of brown waste ended. Only tthe intermittent drops fell in a pattern which played with the rolling of the ship. The sound of the waves bouncing off the sides, gave the drops a proportion. That which seemed to add to the full harmony
below deck. A new pungent odor of the flesh and final waste added to the fumigation process. Now the voyage coulf be waited upon.
It was dark and dank below the deck of the ship.. The one that came into the harbor in the middle of the night. Word had spread through the countryside about the arrival of the slave ship. The tribe called them the floating birds with the many wings. They came and went along the of water. Looking out, you could see them arrive on the horizon. Dark cast against the pure, blue sky. The home of the great spirit. The place of rest. All would go to the great God. The God of all.
Below deck, the long wait for the unknown was starting its slow pace. On deck, the sound of feet and wood could be heard shuffling. The clank of the chains against the wood was the same as that below. Only the air above deck was clean and fresh to smell. That below, held the odor of waste and that of some past passangers aboard ship. Like a coat of paint, the new blotted out the rest of the old, decaying stench.
They had done this before. This same song had been played upon this ship. The casting down of men into the beast of burden. Down to the bottom rung of humanity. That which is called a place of hell. The spot where only up, and the thought of past life, seemed the reality. The place that was and is no more. The moment of life, when all was different. When the only word to describe the feeling of that moment was hideous.
Both eyes were still shut. Trying to find the courage to open them and see the reality of presence. The groan of pain filled the air for the moment. The positioning of a burp filled the hole below with a last human sound to be heard. The last utterance of freedom. Maybe the only freedom to be allowed. No one knew, only the tales and the stories of the cells and the holding pens could account for the present moment.