There is a fragile warmth. The corpse cools from the bottom up, but the deeper organs retain the tinge of rubedo, the remembrance of a life lived.
It's unseasonal of course. Fully leaf fall now, the days mere flashes and the nights deepening, and yet the wind sets a song in my ears and reminds me of Summer.
After the killing comes the rotting. I tried to hasten the process. I looked at pictures of the seven stages of putrefaction. I watched videos of the terrible Aghori, who drag human bodies out of the Ganges and eat them. I ate the deadest thing I could find, a cheap mince pie from the freezer, and then chastised myself for being so half hearted. I put myself to bed, telling myself I had two days to kick my sorry ass.
I was restless, for a corpse.
This is the most organic of all the alchemical processes, and clearly it cannot be influenced.
But oh, I have lived a life of monstrous wonderment. I have lived uncountable moments replete with meaning, that the pain of them is almost too sharp to bear, that the wild stomp and bellow of them overwhelms me even in memory.
I think I will overwinter here. In the Spring, what sprouts from my cadaver may be truly malignant. But me, I hope for snowdrops.
The Earth pauses in her tilt towards the dark, and I must pause with her.
Still. Still. Rest now.