elephants

Did you know that elephants
can remember the sounds of their
loved ones?
Elephants bury dead carcasses and
carry heavy burdens on their
backs. They know each other’s faces,
they know the lines that trace
criss-cross patterns on their mother’s
trunk.
Sometimes elephants talk to
each other with simple hellos and goodbyes
and a how are you here and there, all muffled
by over-sized tongues. They take one
sound and turn it into a language, because elephants
understand the beauty in simplicity,
unlike pesky humans, who focus on the
complex realities of history and mathematics,
always connecting invisible dots on a
page.
And elephants can see the shades of gray,
and they can taste the miracles in the water
we waste, and they can feel one another’s
hearts beating through the ground, like
the vibrations carry messages, “I love you,
I love the way your tusks float so
cleanly on your face, I love the way your
ears stretch from east to west like a savior,
I love that you can save me from anything with
one stomp of your foot.”
I don’t think anybody’s ever seen a crying
elephant, maybe because they’re smarter than
us, or maybe because we’re smarter than them,
or maybe it’s neither,
or maybe it’s both, because I guarantee you
an elephant doesn’t care if I’m smarter than him,
which would of course make him smarter than I.
But he probably can’t write poetry either.
Then again, maybe we have that in common
too.





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