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.
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