Burning is an art.
I remove my shirt and step toward a table where I have spread out the tools I will need. I swab my entire chest and shoulders with synthetic alcohol. My body is white against the black of space where we hover within a suborbital complex. CIEL.
Through the wall-size window I can see a distant nebula; its gases and hypnotic hues make me hold my breath. What a puny word that is, beautiful. Oh, how we need a new language to go with our new bodies.
And on the next page:
There is a song lodged in my skull, one whose origin I can’t recall. The tune is both omnipresent and simultaneously unreachable; the specifics drift away like space junk. There are times I think it will drive me mad, and then I remember that madness is the least of my concerns.
Today is my birthday, and pieces of the song from nowhere haunt my body, a sporadic orchestral thundering that rises briefly and then recedes.
— The Book of Joan, Lidia Yuknavitch