right hand pointing

 

     
 

Aaron M. Hellem

Exaptation

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         Our hands, when thereís no further use for the last two digits, will concretize into solid form, something with which to pound a tack when the hammer is in the other room.  Something on which to strike a match.  Our ears were once the serpentís jaw, and our eyes once the lizardís shield.  What filled in the missing pieces when god extracted Adamís rib?  Did Eve grow out from his side like a Chernobyl surprise?  Was it really an apple or a ball of arsenic?  For want of a longer kairos, I develop a limp, a stutter, a smoking habit.  She said that time was the moment of becoming:  a present moment aggregate of past moments becoming a moment into the future. 

I listen with the serpentís jaw:  distended like a satellite dish.  Somebody killed somebody else with the jaw bone of an ass, I said.

If time is in the moment of becoming, when does it flourish passed the participle and become?  Itís not that easy, she said.  It surprises our expectations.  Something unexpected and untimely disrupts our usual mundane course of action. 

Like a dentist appointment, I offered.

A cigarette break, she replied.

Happy hour.

Chest pains.

Nightmares.

Breaks.

Bubbles.

It exists in the disappearance of things, she said.  She seemed sad to say it, sad when she said it, sad long after she said it.  We see things always in the moment of their vanishing, she lamented.  Iíd heard that before, somewhere at sometime.

Itís out of necessity I listen with my serpentís jaw rather than swallow rodents whole, I told her. 

Perhaps it depends on the exaptation of our hat holders to hold more than hats and do more than chew food and butt the sides of our lovers.  Unless, of course, itís not a participle at all, but a gerund, too.  Could it be a gerund, too? I asked her.

She shook her head finally.  It is not a thing itself, she said.  Person, place, or otherwise.

Becoming, defiant of any specified place until it becomes, had become, became. 

For how long? she asked.

As far back as I can recall, I said.  My shoddy memory with holes in it like the inside of Adamís chest.  Perhaps itís the appendix that will one day calcify in order to protect a more delicate organ in need of protection from a world that changes to kill us. 

For want of a longer kairos, we sprout the wings of crows.


 

 

 

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