As a species, humans have been enormously successful. Indeed, too much so. Our intelligence has changed the rules of the ecological game; now we win by altering, and ultimately destroying, the playing field. In this respect, humans most resemble an invasive species of insect. In our specialization, our interdependence, our relative feebleness without the support structure of our hives, we are like un-carapaced ants. And yet every one of us insists upon our radical individuality, our uniqueness, our selfhood. Calamity could scrape off a thousand of us, or a million, without troubling the course of the human project. Still, the same mind that built our nests lets us imagine that we are singly strong and self-sufficient, like the predator species stalking their territory alone. The ant dreams of being a tiger.
I descend into
the sea of I
In the morning I passed a dead rabbit in the street. It was stretched on its side close to the curb, unblemished, as if it were sleeping. I think it must almost have escaped. In its jagged dash from lawn to lawn, the rabbit was clipped by the bumper of someone’s car, so that it slid to rest stunned, still in its sprinting posture, still wholesome but torn inside, its side subtly heaving until, at last, it lay still. I couldn’t see the eyes. So pristine was it that I thought for a moment about picking it up from the asphalt and carrying it the last little distance to the next patch of grass. But the lawns were all well manicured, and surely the owner would have pushed the corpse back into the gutter where the feral dead belong. Soon the sweeper will bear it away.
Just a few feet from earth, that road-killed rabbit
My hair trickles across her belly and she whimpers. She is embarrassed to show how her flesh swells towards me, and trusts that I will bend the bars. Fingertips dimple her thighs and start a tremor beneath pale skin. The undulation of my tongue flows into her hips, to the creak of springs. Her voice rises; her body heaves from the heels and arcs over me.
As one wave recedes,
it gathers into the height
of the wave that crests.