Elephant – by Michelle Elvy


by Michelle Elvy

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

They say they’re in charge. They say.

They say they believe in conservation, 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 got details to prove it. They collect 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 am a whale of a being, and I barely exist.

Here’s what matters. I have been here for millennia, my mind stretches across space and time and knows 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 what they say.

And I never forget.

  1. deepee10
    May 26, 2010 at 9:13 am

    We hear all the stories
    coming right up out of
    the dust. We see the same
    sky, the same stars. We’ve met

    our own deaths forever.
    We know what’s happening.
    Because of this some of
    us will come willingly

    to have chains put around
    our feet. Some others must
    never be anything
    but free. This way they can

    still lead with their hearts.We
    cannot save us. You could
    not save yours either as
    he was bleached and became

    a ghost. There is little
    time for this conversation
    before the planet
    can no longer pronounce

    our names correctly. Then
    there will be no one to
    call us home again by
    trumpet or full foot stomp.

    It may sound funny to
    you but we have tasted
    the rain, flowers, grass;
    it tastes right, we believe.

    Darryl Price

  2. deepee10
    May 26, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    I love elephants so I wanted to add my voice to their plight and to thank you for writing this.

  3. May 28, 2010 at 6:12 am

    DP! Took me a day or two to get here, but I want to shout out a THANK YOU here for this remarkable response to Elephant! This herd is alive! I love the ending, it is so sensual, so sweet, against the hard backdrop of the rest. Wonderful elephant voice; wonderful to share this together.

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