This is the remains of all of the Ocean. This great mound of decaying flesh, completely degraded by death, completely beautiful in all its ugly rot.

We made nature fear us. They drained the sea. Nothing is beyond human control now, no more floods or droughts. Just great cavities of dry darkness and washed up beasts like this.

The blue wale’s ribs protrude from its rotting side three times my huddled size. I feel as old as she probably did. Washed up, spat out. The bugs under her dry skin are misplaced. She deserved starfish. I wish there was some way to bless her, some apology from my kind. I feel too old, I should not have lived to witness this. I shuffle to her face, the smell of fish occupying my every breath. Not the salty fresh of live fish, but the scent that belongs to nets and factory-sized fish mongers: dead and drying guts. When I reach her face I am determined not to grimace at the hollow eye sockets, the skin wriggling with live scavengers. I grunt as I lower my arthritic self to sit and place my palms on the remaining sagging flesh of her lower lip. My hands blotched and wrinkled beyond recognition, look greedy and wrong on her face, despite their intentions. I feel like a parasite, a detritivore, come to rip the remaining soiled flesh from her bones. I wanted symbiosis. I wanted her to feel my admiration and sorrow. I want to sit with these remains until death claims me, I want to rot into her ancient bones and become a part of the nature we lost. I want one of her huge ribs as my tombstone, but that would claim her suffering as my own.


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