Turnspit

Katy Gunn

Facts of being the pig: The pig must be the same color from every angle. The pig must not stand still. The pig must not stop turning. These three facts are all the same, which is predictable, which is good.

The pig is predicable because it is always the pig. Not just anyone can eat the pig. There is a wide variety of people who cannot eat the pig. Only King Henry VII may determine who may eat the pig.

The boy or dogs who turn the spit must not eat the pig. They must not eat even a ribbon of pig. If they pull a ribbon, the pig might fall into pieces. It must not fall off the spit into pieces. It must not fall off the spit all at once. If the pig falls, it is worthless.

The boy who was King Edward VI wore unction on his forehead. It was a gem on his head when he was driven through the streets. It was not the same as the gems sewn onto the clothes on his body but it meant the same thing. He rode through the streets in carriages, shining.

He did not know that unction is made of oil with smells, which is the same as some kinds of cooking.

Unction seeped deep into his face. His blood got unction in it. When he cut his finger on a knife he was given as a gift, a gift for King Edward VI, he smelled it. When a boy is given a gift, it confirms for him who he is. The greatest gift is unction. King Henry VII was given unction once too.

It is said that the reason King Henry VII did not kill the boy who was King Edward VI was that he thought it in the best interests of everyone involved to uphold the surety of unction.

He is growing small knots of muscle on his arms and back. They move around on his bones in circles. Every word he thinks of, he thinks a million times. It keeps looping back. The word is often revolve or revolution.

Lying down in the dark, he cannot tell if he is the pig, the spit, the turnspit, the turnspit dog, or the wheel. In the dark, these are all the same thing. He or the bed or the dark revolve, and he wishes for a blanket to hold onto. He wishes for a candle, but he knows he is nobody to be given a candle.

Unction is the way of being created. The pig is created from oil with smells going into its mother. The pig comes out of its mother in oil with smells. The pig oozes oil with smells while it turns on the spit. Before King Henry VII eats the pig, he pours oil with smells on it.

When King Henry VII wants to create a king, he inserts oil with smells into the mother of the king. He will be its father. The turnspit learned the facts of creation from his father, a shoemaker. His father oiled pigskin and created shoes.

His father oiled inside his mother, but his father was not a king. King Henry VII made this very clear for the turnspit. The oil with smells that goes on the head or inside the mother of a king is different from the oil with smells that the shoemaker ejected.

The difference is all in the name. The name is unction or revolution. He learned this fact from the priest, Father Richard Simons. The Father rubbed his fingers in the unction. He raised his hand and let it slide down his wrist in ribbons.

 
 
 


Katy Gunn is an MFA candidate at the University of Alabama with other writing forthcoming from Birkensnake, LIT, Paper Darts, and more.

 

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