But, here’s the thing: we won’t call them aliens any longer, implying—because we don’t understand—that they don’t belong here, that they haven’t worked hard to maintain, because, yes, the cuttlefish have found a way, haven’t they? And not knowing can be beautiful, a mystery we don’t need to understand to appreciate, the rhythm of the black waves crashing on the shore, the moon hanging low and yellow, toes digging divots into the wet sand, smiling—finally feeling like yourself, who you’ve always been and always wanted to be.
The horse is running at full-speed, the arch of its back unmistakable, hooves raised high, ears perked, mane blowing, slicing through warm wind, scrubland, high desert, jungle. You’re twenty, no thirty, no sixteen; you’re single, no married, no dating: the horse responds to your touch with spasms of its remarkable muscle, by blowing its lips, letting out an imposing roar. It responds to you, the two of you together, this dance along the horizon, the edge of a lake where a marbled sky overhead promises rain, where thunderous green storms promise relief.
Back on earth, shock and awe: planted, the seeds germinate; there’s no discernable difference in their make-up. So they’re given away as gifts by the President, planted on college campuses, in city centers, affixed with plaques to mark their terrible cosmic journey.
I’ve long wanted to be published in Hobart, so this is a dream. I’m grateful to the editors there for publishing this poem.
If you’re not familiar, 7×7 is a collaborative journal, pairing artists and writers, asking them to create back-and-forth narratives. In our case, I started with a drawing (at random), and David continued the narrative. Where he left off, I took it in another direction with another piece of art. And so on. It was an incredibly fresh way to tell a story, and I’m so happy with how the piece came out.
To us, it moves senselessly, has no internal life, keeps up with some revolting job that’s easy to deride. But oh, oh, these purple-green shimmering insects can see the world better than us—and they know their place in it, wherever they are. They know.