They Will Sew the Blue Sail

Placental Chauvinism | George Kalamaras

There was thick bracken lining the trail.

We heard vocalizations in the darkness all around, hiss-like coughs and barks we feared came from inside us.

Wet sedgeland and buttongrass plains were a most exciting surrogate.

Ultimately, it’s worth remembering that many trees were clearfelled for what we took as progress.

Marsupial wolf or Tasmanian tiger. I would have loved you even had you not died out.

Some part of me is always misnamed, trapped by feckless ignorance, hemmed in by creepers, eucalyptus, and giant trees of stupidity.

So it was that not just mammals but plants found domestication in Mesopotamia around 8000 BCE.

So it was that across the great ocean, Tasmania became cut off from the world.

The starving convicts fed pigs the scraps from passing whale boats.

The pork, they say, began to taste of seawater and lamp oil.

So it was that the marsupial wolf—the thylacine—got blamed for the thousands of dead sheep.

So to have a placenta among the King Billy pines, beech, and sassafras was thought to grant access to the Darwinian throne.

I have been down on my knees far too long, searching for the crisp of my lost tongue.

If I had a pouch. If I had four tiny embryos clinging inside. If I felt their suck at my milk and their vulnerable hiding from the world.

Limb by limb we grow, even in sleep, twitching ourselves into a minute nervous system.

Replete with the disease of so many former lives, we once again enter the world.

Have I come this time with a predilection for vascular tissue, hunger for the hibernating pygmy possum, the terrestrial mountain shrimp? A taste for the internal organs of the spiritually soaked?

This coughing bark. This thick and bracken and trail. This certain uncertain coming unto the world.