March 8, 2017

Chrys Tobey

FOR THE ARCHAEOLOGIST WHO HAS BEEN STUDYING STONES FOR EIGHTEEN MONTHS

You’re trying to recreate how Neanderthals made
stone tools, trying to understand something from forty
thousand years ago, trying to understand someone from
forty thousand years ago, and as you sit chipping away at
rock, I sit comfortably on my couch watching your televised
moderately handsome face, in awe of your devotion, in awe
of your dedication to a damn rock. I won’t lie, whatever-your-
name-is, your hunger for shaping stone tools makes me think
if you can give a rock this much attention, with this much precision
and this much passion, if you can desire a rock for almost two years,
imagine what you can do in bed. I’m sure you’ve already imagined this,
and pardon me for seeing sex in everything, but I assume
Neanderthals saw sex in everything, too, so please forgive my
Paleolithic impulse to want you to study the circumference of my wrists,
slope of my tongue, symmetry of my thighs. Forgive me for wanting
to fuck like a Neanderthal. No sex toys, no shame,
just eighteen months of skin on skin, eighteen months
of learning how to suck like a Neanderthal, how to sweat
like a Neanderthal, how to scream like a Neanderthal, and then
we’ll go back to being Homo sapiens and move on.

from Rattle #54, Winter 2016

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Chrys Tobey: “When I was a younger human, I fell in love with reading because Virginia Woolf, Sandra Cisneros, Sylvia Plath, Garcia Marquez, and Toni Morrison made me feel less alone. I think this is why I write. It makes me feel less alone.” (website)