Written on the Body is not a book I want to talk to you about. I want to pass it into your hands and follow your eyes as you trace Winterson’s prose on the page. But there will be too much time or too much distance, so I will retrieve the book and turn to my favourite passages, saying, “Hear this now,” and “Hear this.”
When the narrator has no name nor gender, it’s easy to slip into the body. And your lover fits in the sentence beside you, traces your body with his hands, her hands.
I dogeared a page–an unnatural feat for me–and I’ll leave it here:
“Who taught you to use your hands as branding irons? You have scored your name into my shoulders, referenced me with your mark. The pads of your fingers have become printing blocks, you tap a message on to my skin, tap meaning into my body. Your morse code interferes with my heart beat. I had a steady heart beat before I met you, I relied upon it, it had seen active service and grown strong. Now you alter its pace with your own rhythm, you play upon me, drumming me taut.
Written on the body is a secret code only visible in a certain light.”