When dolphins die they call out their own name. They do this to make sure their family is close––they do this to remind their near ones: this is who I am. I am here now. I have known joy.
We didn’t recognise his terror. We loved him cold. When his battered heart stopped, we cried and tried to bring him back, fingering lightly his pale feathers.
We’ve dug our way to the top of the casket. Our pockets are filled with plastic and wood, roots we’ve twisted off and not eaten. We’re tunneling up, making a barrier against the earth above our heads.
Beyond the bathroom window, the celestial jaw of night loosens its grip on the sky. Whale sharks with their astral skin are tracked by the same software that follows the galaxies.
She's snoring, her face turned to the wall. I want to wake her, see if we can take tweezers to it, extract it like a splinter or a rotted tooth and forget it ever was there, but I know it wouldn't take. Her legs are on loan.
The planets and too-close suns hovered stillborn. The dust motes found their way back.
When we quiet down, she tells me to make the night disappear, to place wishes on her shoulders, to calm the dividing cells in her body because she can hear them switching, separating, calling out her name.
The outside was getting harder to ignore. What was coming was coming for us all.