By Feral

I've always wanted to be a saber-toothed cat.

I run around with my little tape measure, my caliper, and my keen curiosity, examining my lineage going back millions of years. I have traced the eye-sockets of my ancestors. Run my fingers along the sagittal crests, felt the teeth of my distant kin. Teeth that binds us, the stories that bones tell.

I understand them by touch.

I can only put one side of my flesh against the bone.
I want to peel my face off and place it over Boisei. Over afarensis, heidelbergensis, neanderthalensis. Cro-Magnon. Homo sapiens. Know what it is to have that skull in my body. Those teeth.  I measure the canines, one inch. Two inches, two and a half... I run my tongue down my own canines. I remember meat rendered by them.

Torn apart.

I want to feel the skeleton that belongs to these skulls. I want to read them, learn their languages. This scientific examination piques my curiosity but it leaves me hollow for the meat of their existence.
How many children came forth from these wombs?
How many lived?
How did they die?
What fears, what passions, what tools did these brains conjure in their own time?

I want to go back farther and toast an asteroid. Meet a tetrapod and witness that reptilian grin. Dip my fingers in the Cambrian ocean and feel pikaia swim through my fingers.

Some time later, millions of years later, I re-articulate an entire skeleton.

We have a private moment, my innards & I. My muscles and my organs feel slightly more protective of the living bone within my own flesh -
and an intense curiosity to see them laid out on a table.

Unauthorized Copying Is Prohibited. Ask the author first.
© 2014 Alexis Helms
Published on Friday, July 10, 2015.     Filed under:

Author's Note:

Posted elsewhere, then posted here by request.
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Comments on "osseous "

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  • Cassette On Tuesday, December 26, 2017, Cassette (1244)By person wrote:

    This was really a wonderful piece, my dear Feral. It reminds me of my own childhood... It’s amazing how you made this real for me

  • Psyborg On Friday, May 17, 2013, Psyborg (16)By person wrote:

    ... and the part where you want to peel your face of and place it on the skull is so...cool!

  • Psyborg On Friday, May 17, 2013, Psyborg (16)By person wrote:

    This totally took me out of my element... I read so many pieces on here's of depression and gore... Killing... Blood... and this had none of that... But was darker and more interesting. Made me feel like I was someone else who time warped into an ancestral body for a brief moment. Thanks for the trip:)

  • FadedBlues On Tuesday, April 23, 2013, FadedBlues (2973)By person wrote:

    ...'Altered States,' novel & screenplay by Paddy Chayefsky. scientitst regresses to Cro-Magnon, or something akin. intelligently made film...

  • Scarrzz On Tuesday, March 19, 2013, Scarrzz (247)By person wrote:

    I am impressed from surface to amygdyla. What a perspective. ~ * ~ I went to the zoo yesterday and communed with a mountain lion while she was enjoying her dinner. Its wonderful to shut down the brain and feel the empathy. ~ * ~ BTW, yesterday was my big cat's birthday. He got a tower to perch upon beside the computer and window. I sometimes wonder if he dreams of chasing the deer that walk by every day. Scholar

  • A former member wrote: There is nothing if not doing what you Love to do. To have that ability to feel what was uncovered as if you are of it, to envision a life lived...how did it feel to be the skin upon those bones...how did the mind race as it trapped its prey...how did that air smell so long ago...how did the meat taste...exquisite. Scholar

  • Tonights Decision On Monday, March 18, 2013, Tonights Decision (141)By person wrote:

    this is awesome... its like a shiver that reaches the reptile part of my brain, the part that still fears what hides in the night and feels an urge to howl at the moon..

  • Dei On Sunday, March 17, 2013, Dei (706)By person wrote:

    "You express a passion and a desperate sort of love for your own curiosity. Desire to live history and know it and to make it yours" -said this earlier, but i post it here so you can remember that there were people that understood. PS, your classmates are "ass hats"

  • Dei On Sunday, March 17, 2013, Dei (706)By person wrote:

    BTW, the title is perfect.

  • BetaWolfinVA On Sunday, March 17, 2013, BetaWolfinVA (914)By person wrote:

    Wow, very well done... i take it your other skill is archeology? Scholar

  • Dei On Sunday, March 17, 2013, Dei (706)By person wrote:

    concept to action this was completely unique in design. Beautifully expressed instead of simply written. very appreciative that you chose to share this with us.

  • lupus tenebrae On Saturday, March 16, 2013, lupus tenebrae (1028)By person wrote:

    To be imbued with the power to feel history itself, hear the boundless call of the ancients echo across the bedrock, that's what I felt like I had for the duration of this piece. I falter when commenting your work, it's obvious why. Scholar

  • Eisen On Saturday, March 16, 2013, Eisen (8)By person wrote:

    There is an eloquence here born more of honest simplicity and genuine passion than many more feathered and dressed words may impart. Thank you.

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