by Michelle Elvy

They say we can’t jump, and they're probably right, but truth be told I’ve never tried.

They say they’re in charge, too. They say.

They say they believe in conservation, they believe in protection, they want to save the environment. They say.

They make Animal fucking Planet but I never watch it. I’m busy here with too much sun and sky and not enough water for my baby.

They say they love animals, and they focus on the details. They make lists: Bulls are colorblind. Butterflies were flutterbies. Polar bears are lefties, snails like to sleep.

Do the details matter? Do the details make them feel better, feel more? Do they recall the massacres, the bodies, the wretched reek of death? Do they know my grief? It's not in their fact list, but it is real. I dwarf them, yet to most I barely exist.

Here’s what matters. I have been here for millennia, my mind stretches across space and time. I know the softest part of skin, the smell of life, the touch of memory, the taste of my mother, the sound of my brother.

Urine is essence. I piss gallons on their words.

And I never forget.

Michelle Elvy lives and writes on a sailboat. Her professional lives have included teacher, historian, translator, editor, and chief wrangler at a software consulting company. She has published stories about children, food, faraway places, motorcycling, dreaming big, and the kindness of strangers. Her recent short fiction has appeared in a number of online literary journals, and you can find her writing at Glow Worm, flashing at 52/250, listening at VOICES,
or sailing on Momo. Michelle is presently in New Zealand, but her latitude and longitude are subject to change. Her love for elephants, however, will never change.

1 comment:

  1. A great narrative-so readable and smart. I love "Polar Bears are Lefties."