Bio Note: I grew up on a farm, far away from the society of my peers. As a result, I found solace and stimulation in the natural world. With the recent regime of quarantine and isolation (I tested positive for Covid-19 but experienced only faint symptoms), nature has been especially beneficial to my mental health (such as it is).
I love the animal in you the warm fur of your haunches your tender underbelly the soft bass of your heartbeat your growl and your purr I love the feral fighter in you that can snap a neck and shake the limpened body like a toy, that can wrest if it must the crimson viscera from its fang-torn housing I love the mother in you and the father who can call the frightened young to your heart with one kind motion and remind it that life can be a loving and a safe place like the cushioning womb of the human in you
How I envy the furry black yellow striped caterpillar that climbs the lush stems of the basil plants. Sheltered within the deep green redolent canopy it spends its days feasting on the fragrant leaves, unaware that with each delicious bite it destroys its gorgeous habitat. By the time the leaves are all reduced to lacy stubble it will be time to find a resting place, pull a shroud over itself and wait for the dawn of the next life. How I envy the furry black yellow striped caterpillar that can destroy its world and retreat to the succor of a regenerative cocoon.
My grandmother described hers as the map of Israel. Mother had hers bobbed after a break. A boy once called mine long and skinny. Stalwart survivor of sunburn, pimples, bonkings, it stands above the lines of disappointment that lie between it and the corners of my mouth: supporter of glasses; detector of wet pavement, citrus blossom, skunk, the vanilla in a cabernet, the cocoa in coffee. My nose remains the sole feature on my face that wrinkles only when my mind requires.
Originally published in publication
©2020 Tamara Madison
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