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  • Writer's pictureLammergeier Staff

Imagine the Last Philippine Crocodile | Christen Noel Kauffman

I think about her stalking riverbanks, her teeth grinning fish into abandoned holes, sometimes the snap of her mouth on a loose grocery bag. I would ask her if she knows how gravity is the earth’s mass on her scales and if there’s ever a mother who didn’t feel alone. Of course it is a she who is last. Of course the final, guttural push of full lungs into the expanse would also be a body egg-filled. How she carried her sons onto shallow rock. How she opened her chest and fed them from her ribcage. Sometimes a mother is broken in her children’s jaws. I picture her striking the head of a carp or cooling her layers of skin on sandstone. I want to ask her if there is life after death. I want to ask her if she imagined it would be better than this – the fish and the river. The constant impossibility of having to carry it all.

Christen Noel Kauffman lives in Richmond, Indiana with her husband and two daughters. She holds a MFA from Northern Michigan University. Christen's poems and essays can be found or are forthcoming in The Cincinnati Review, Booth, DIAGRAM, Threadcount, and The Normal School, among others.

Check out our Featured Writer interview with Christen Noel Kauffman here!



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