Nobody’s Defense

Testimony at sea.

When the officials came to demand my history, I pointed to the sea. She had the only enduring record, I told them, of our bodies, our wrecks, the wreckage we endured, our ancestors.

Did we call it known, once? Ask her. Did we know our first breaths through gills, and before this, much thinner membranes? When each of us was a single cell, did we imagine that this would make us invisible one day to our later selves–– or were such concerns trivial beside some vastness of knowing–– or was nothing too small to be named?

When the officials came to demand my measurements, I said, keep your instruments and I will keep swimming in this saving ignorance, in the margins of your marked territories. 

When the officials moved toward me, I said, friends, you are welcome, too. Anyone can be taught by the twilight and by the other transparent creatures known to glow.