WORDS: Caroline Kikawa '18
IMAGE: The She Goat, 1950 by Pablo Picasso
IN WHICH Caroline Skins Luna (Canine) to Keep Her Alive
Bad folks: You’ve gotta skin her. To keep her alive.
Caroline: Won’t she die?
Bad folks: We don’t care.
Caroline: But what about blood loss?
Bad folks: Her fur is very soft – her chow must be rich in omega oils?
Caroline: Hand me the knife.
I don’t bruise easily but you’re ripe fruit
We’re waiting in a rooftop parking lot, your little brother is in the backseat. My little brother was born still, you say. You laugh. Someone tosses a dirt mover at us, and it rips off the top of the car, catching the both of you but leaving me. Brother is tossed to the side. (He’s a baby, wrapped and blue, I see now.) You’re caught under the huge shovel. I shrink it, pull it off of you. Your stomach is purple, red, bruised. I don’t want to touch it, the damaged parts, the hurt. I don’t want to react but I cry anyway and you say: I feel fine, I can stand. So you do, and we go to the movie.
I used to swim competitively but I can only do two pull-ups
I’ve watched several groups of skiers pass over the gate I am approaching. And sidestepping up. This is a No-go, I hear Colin tell me. He says this is against protocol, that I should be wearing my backcountry gear, that I should be wary. But the top of the berm is glorious and untouched. Below in the chute, I see a massive, hulking figure. Red on the white. A downed bull elk. I get closer, I pull out my camera. Once, when we shot at a range, Colin told me, Where there is prey, there is a predator. He kneels beside me now, points my lens through the stained glass antlers: the eyes of the cougar. The cougar who gratingly yowls: You big drip. Don’t you wish you had your shovel?
If I looked different, things would be different
I woke us both up because I said, out loud, That’s a plane. I was confirming to someone I was speaking to: That was a plane. I guess that’s a plane, you said. I think I was talking to my hometown neighbor. He’s an orthopedic surgeon and his mother is French. Once he walked around his house without a shirt on. My mom watched.
IN WHICH Camus’ dog makes a special appearance
The dog looks into the puddle he has been lapping from. He suddenly realizes he is Nothing but bone and spit and muscle. His rough pads hurt from the hot sidewalk. The sidewalk would always be hot. His paws would always hurt and split. Eyes watering, I look at him apprehensively and prepare for his attempt to kill me.
I really need to feel safe tonight, please swaddle me
You look at me across the hoagie shop, communicating, trying to say I don’t matter. To which I respond: Yes, I already knew that, are you kidding! I’ve been wrecked since birth. Ever since I wouldn’t breach I’ve let it all wash.