Mary Alice Stewart
was exactly what I thought, after
the woman tried to engage
in that particular kind of endearing conversation
between my legs. It was quite uncomfortable
how she smiled after noticing
the sticker of a “cute cat” on my phone case, which
wasn’t a cat at all. Instead of telling her
it was a lemur, or crying, or telling her
to stop the whole thing, I looked up at the cracked,
graveyard ceiling of the Planned Parenthood
and imagined all of the eyes that could’ve been looking
at me one day. One attempts to be significant like this
in moments when you finally feel
the control that you should’ve felt all along.
It is slimy and foreign but just when you think
you could get used to it, the woman, who could have been anybody, smiles and incorrectly identifies the mammal
on your phone case. She could have been
anybody, and she could have been smart.
Maybe it was the stench of death that confused her into
thinking things weren’t actually what they were. She can be forgiven for this, obviously.
What does this have to do with lemurs?
because they were there, that complete dying species, in the room where I half was. They were doing lemur-like things,
as lemurs often do, disappearing in and out of existence.
They should have been in Madagascar, where there’s
a tree forming a new ring that I am, somehow, a part of.
If they were smart they’d be in Madagascar dying.
The lady hadn’t looked up for a while now, it could have been years. Could she tell how many things have died inside me? That’d be awkward, like when your fly’s unzipped and the whole fifth grade knows about it, except you. And just like the fifth grade, it was over. The lady squeezed my arm and left the room, leaving me amongst the lemurs and half-deaths.
What we didn’t know was how dumb it is to kill something
that was already dead in the first place.